TWO youths from Selby who butted, kicked and punched a 14-year-old boy at a funfair have been given suspended sentences.

Mark Anthony Smith, 19, of Church Lane, and Stephen Marson, 20, of Cochrane Street, attended Selby Fair on March 13 last year with the intention of attacking the boy, York Crown Court heard.

David Garnett, prosecuting, told the court Smith believed the boy had made derogatory remarks about his niece, who had died.

The court heard Smith and Marson had approached and confronted the victim at the fair, before Smith butted him, breaking his nose. The victim fell to the ground as Smith walked away, but was then punched by Marson, also known as Stephen Marsden, and fell to the ground again, where he was also kicked in the jaw.

The court heard both Smith and Marson had a history of violent behaviour and had each appeared at court on several occasions.

John Bumfrey, for Smith, said: “This defendant has had a difficult background and is making progress and appears to be gaining a greater insight into the factors behind his offending and problematic areas of his life.”

Kevin Blount, for Marson, said he had heard the victim say a number of hurtful things about Smith’s niece, and had heard about similar abuse on a social networking site and by word of mouth. Mr Blount also said Marson was currently undergoing an anger management programme, and was currently under a supervision order for an unrelated offence.

Recorder David Hatton QC said there was potential for much more serious injury in the actions of the pair, even death, but acknowledged that the behaviour of both had shown some improvement since the incident. Smith was given a 16-week sentence suspended for 12 months, a supervision and curfew order to be monitored by an electronic tag, and ordered to attend a 19-session thinking skills programme.

Marson was also given a 16-week jail sentence, suspended for 12 months.