A MAN who launched a ‘bizarre’ attack on a paperboy, the teenager’s father and a mum holding a baby has been warned he has had a ‘remarkable escape’ from a lengthy prison sentence.

Josh Abbott, 23, of Mendip Heights, Didcot appeared at Oxford Crown Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to seven charges related to the spree of violence and vandalism, which also included damaging a newsagents, fish and chip shop, and car.

Matthew Walsh, prosecuting, said a 17-year-old boy had been picking up papers for his paper route at the Ridgeway Road newsagents at around 9am on December 27 when he spotted Abbott moving his bike.

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When the teenager confronted the older man, Abbott responded “I’ve stolen your f*cking bike”, Mr Walsh told the court, and said Abbott then threatened to shoot the boy, adding: "He put his hand in his pocket and he couldn't see if there was a weapon or not."

The 23-year-old punched the teenager, who suffered cuts and bruising to his left eye as well as lip. The boy left but quickly returned with his father to find Abbott was now in the newsagents, where a member of staff had her two 17-month-old twins.

Mr Walsh said the 23-year-old, who was shouting abuse, displayed a 'bizarre level of aggression' to everyone and everything he came across that morning, attempting to hit the teenager's father and striking the woman as she moved to get one of her children out of his way.

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He proceeded to punch the glass in the shop's door, going outside and doing the same to the nearby fish and chip shop as well as a parked Peugeot.

Peter Du Feu, in mitigation, said his client was unable to explain his actions but had been 'drinking heavily' the night before and believed he was still intoxicated.

He added Abbott was also aware of his 'remarkable escape' given two more serious charges of wielding an imitation firearm and affray during the same incident had been dropped by prosecutors.

Judge Peter Ross said Abbott had been ‘desperately undercharged' for the attack on the teenager.

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He added the maximum sentence of six months he could legally impose for all seven offences – three counts of common assault, three of criminal damage and one of taking a bike without the owner's consent, would be 'almost pointless' given his history of similar offences without getting to the root of the violence.

Judge Ross said: “It is quite clear that drink is behind much of the offending.”

He postponed sentencing until April 16 for a full report by the probation service to be produced.