THE mother of a young man whose skull was fractured in an unprovoked attack says she is appalled at the lenient punishment given to the youth responsible.

Magistrates sitting at Carlisle’s Rickergate court gave the 16-year-old boy who attacked 19-year-old Leon Parker an 11 month referral order, and an order to pay £1,500 compensation.

Mr Parker’s mother Julie Robinson spent 10 days at her son’s bedside as doctors treated him for a double brain bleed. She and Leon’s father John Parker, 55, and their son’s sister Shelly Parker, 24, were with him throughout his hospital stay, taking turns at night to sleep in a chair.

The teenage thug who attacked Mr Parker admitted causing him grievous bodily harm. His identity is protected because of his age.

Mr Parker was leaving Harraby’s Co-op store at 7.13pm on June 19 after buying milk when the youth approached him, and punched him in the face, knocking him over. As Mr Parker fell, he banged his head on the kerb, and was knocked out.

The teenager initially walked away but returned to turn Mr Parker on to his side.

In an exclusive interview with the News & Star, Mrs Robinson, 53, from Morton, described the aftermath of the attack: how doctors at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) considered operating on Mr Parker because his brain injury was so serious.

“I don’t get how you can leave somebody with a fractured skull, and two bleeds on the brain and then walk out of court with an 11-month referral order,” she said. “It’s a slap on the wrist.

“I feel angry. This lad has got away with it. My son was transferred from the Cumberland Infirmary to the trauma unit of the RVI. We arrived there at 4am, and they didn’t know whether he’d need a brain operation or not. He was in and out of consciousness.

“There were people milling around when it happened but nobody called an ambulance for 20 minutes; they just didn’t want to get involved. That upset me.”

Mr Parker’s brain injury has affected his memory, and he has only in the last few weeks been well enough to return to work. His injury means he will not be allowed to drive for six months.

Mrs Robinson added: “He’s been very tired since it happened; he couldn’t sleep and he’s had nightmares. It’s been going on for so long now, and Leon has lost so much.

“He’s lost his freedom to drive, and he had to go down to half pay because he was off work.

“How can somebody do what that lad did, hitting him for no reason and walking away like that? But we’ve had no apology whatsoever. My son is slowly recovering but it’s going to take a long time.

“We definitely feel he’s not had justice.

“The lad who did this should have been jailed.”

Magistrates also gave the youth was also given an eight week overnight curfew.