A CARLISLE teenager who was knocked out by a 16-year-old boy with a single punch was later found to have a fractured skull, a court heard.

Details of the attack were outlined at the city’s Rickergate youth court as the attacker - who can not be named for legal reasons - appeared before magistrates for an application to ban him from contacting his victim.

Peter Bardsley, prosecuting, outlined how the victim was walking in the city’s Raffles area with his girlfriend on the evening July 12 when he heard somebody shout his name.

He recognised the voice as that of the defendant, and turned round.

“He can’t remember anything else,” said Mr Bardsley. “He remembered waking up in hospital but he didn’t at first know where he was or what had happened.”

The 17-year-old had suffered a fractured skull.

He told police he did not know who assaulted him and did not remember being assaulted. But his left cheek hurt and he felt he had been punched.

Witnesses saw the defendant - now serving four months in a young offender’s institution - approach the victim and punch him once to the face. Mr Bardsley said the prosecution wanted the court to impose a restraining order to prevent the youth from contacting his victim.

But Anthony Wilson, for the youth, opposed the order. Mr Bardsley outlined the defendant’s criminal record.

It includes drug offences, failing to comply with a youth rehabilitation order, and carrying a weapon. He also had convictions for theft, two burglaries, and taking a car without consent.

Mr Wilson said the restraining order would be disproportionate.

“There has only ever been one incident between them,” said the lawyer. “The defendant punched him once. The injury was quite severe but the reason he wasn’t charged with a more serious assault was that this lad had been assaulted by someone else earlier.”

The youth before the court was charged with common assault, and entered a guilty plea to that offence, said Mr Wilson. There had never previously been trouble between them.

The lawyer said his client was concerned that the victim would lie to get him into yet more trouble. “I don’t want him to be left open to that,” added Mr Wilson.

The presiding magistrate told the teenager - who openly derided the idea of him being given a restraining order: “We have heard that this was an unprovoked attack.

“[The victim] needed to go into hospital and he has been very fearful that he might meet you in the future. In the interests of justice we agree that there should be a restraining order. The order will last a year, an forbids any contact or the defendant going into the street where the victim lives.