A TEENAGE girl left a disabled Barnstaple man bruised and bleeding on the floor after a violent attack, a court was told.
The 17-year-old Barnstaple girl was given a year's community order after admitting inflicting actual bodily harm upon 51-year-old Oliver Hebden, who has chronic asthma and uses a walking stick.
Exeter Crown Court heard that the girl and her group of friends swore at Mr Hebden and shouted insults, including calling him a "cripple", before she launched her attack and stopped him from calling the police.
Judge Ian Leeming QC told the girl he had been intending to jail her for a long time until he learned of the progress she had made in turning her life around since the incident.
The court heard Mr Hebden had also accepted a letter of apology from the girl, who cannot be identified because of her age.
Prosecutor Michael Brabin said the victim was walking home near a subway on the Roundswell estate, just after midnight on May 16 this year.
The victim was approached by a gang who shouted abuse, before the girl stopped him from walking away.
"He was frightened," said Mr Brabin.
"He got onto his phone to call police. As he was doing that, he was hit in the back by this defendant.
"He was asked if he was calling police and he felt he couldn't continue it so he stopped.
"Then his walking stick was thrown into the hedge and the defendant threw his mobile phone into a hedge."
Mr Brabin said: "He was then hit repeatedly by the defendant. He fell to the floor, out of breath. With a lack of walking stick, he couldn't get up.
"He lay on the path for ten minutes, then he started to crawl to his home. He couldn't get back up but he managed to get to his house."
Mr Hebden did not suffer serious injures but was bruised and bleeding.