A KINGSWINFORD teenager who went over the top as he defended himself after being punched and grabbed by another man, has avoided spending time behind bars.

Richard Halford, of Rowan Rise, acted "far beyond self defence" when he rained nearly 30 blows on his victim after they got into a fight in Dudley, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

It was a "sustained and vicious attack" by the 19-year-old, on a victim who, it was accepted, had first lunged at him before grabbing him by the throat.

"You were clearly trying to cause more harm to your victim than you actually did," Judge Peter Barrie told Halford, as he ruled he was just able to avoid sending him straight into custody.

"I accept you have shown remorse," added the judge, "You should be ashamed of what you did and I think you are. Therefore I am just persuaded to suspend the prison sentence."

Halford admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and he was sentenced to ten months in a Young Offenders Institution, suspended for two years.

The judge further ordered him to carry out 200 hours unpaid work in the community and to pay £750 compensation to his victim for the injuries he suffered in the attack.