A JEALOUS man attacked a schoolboy in the street when he believed he had become too close to his girlfriend, a court heard.

Ryan Love, of Station Road, Darlington, kicked and punched the 15-year-old in the head, leaving him with a permanent scar on his nose and a badly swollen eye.

Darlington Magistrates’ Court was told boy is now frightened to walk through the town centre alone in fear of a repeat attack.

David Maddison, prosecuting, said: “He had been friends with the girl for years and went with her while she waited in the street to meet someone.

“He saw Love in front of him and was punched and kneed in the face and kicked once in the head area, causing bleeding from his eye.”

Graham Hunsley, mitigating, said Love, who pleaded guilty to assault by beating, was going through a turbulent period in his life.

He said: “There seemed to be a sense of jealousy, he thought the boy was involved with his girlfriend, and loyalty is very important to him.

“His life is in disarray; he is retreating into his shell and is at the bottom of a dark hole.”

Unemployed Love also pleaded guilty to criminal damage after smashing a window at his former home in Humber Place, Darlington, on November 15, and possessing 10.7g of cannabis when searched by police.

Chairwoman of the bench, Sue Snowden, warned Love he had to change his ways or face prison.

She said: “Your life can go one way or the other; you can wallow in self pity or take control and do something.”

Love was given a 12-month supervision order and ordered to pay £100 compensation to his victim.