A DANGEROUS thug could be in line for a £25,000 payout after his release from jail was delayed.

Daniel Bate, 32, was one of four thugs who left builder David Head unconscious with a broken jaw and smashed teeth outside his home in November 2006.

The 48-year-old died of a heart attack a month later – but his death was not linked to the attack.

Then 21, Bate, of Clarendon Road, Hove, was handed an indefinite prison sentence for the public’s protection in March 2008.

He was ordered to serve a minimum of three years and five months – but was only released last year, after acquiring and kicking a Spice habit while behind bars.

Now he has been awarded the right to damages by a High Court judge in a case that could kickstart a flood of other claims by prisoners whose Parole Board hearings were delayed.

He has successfully sued the Parole Board for “delayed liberty” and “frustration, anxiety and distress” caused by delays in his bid for release being heard.

That delay, top judge Lord Justice Holroyde has now ruled, was the result of “a serious backlog of work” at the Parole Board and “insufficiency of resources to enable it to deal with cases speedily”.

The damages Bate is due have yet to be calculated but, based on payouts made in similar cases, he could be entitled to more than £25,000.

Bate was convicted of wounding with intent and possession of class A drugs at Lewes Crown Court.

He had already been in custody for a year when sentence was passed and his minimum term expired in 2010. However, he was not released until a review of his case by the Parole Board in March 2017.

He later sued, claiming damages for nine months of delay in approving his release.

Bate suffers from mental health difficulties, including autism and mild learning difficulties.

One of the causes of delay was a shortage of Parole Board panel members with appropriate psychiatric experience.

Bate’s barrister Philip Rule claimed he was fit for release months before he was finally handed back his liberty.

Delays in Parole Board hearings caused by staff shortages were “a breach of duty which has serious consequences” he said.

The judge said that, between 18 months and two years ago, the Parole Board was struggling to cope due to lack of human resources and many prisoners had their hearings delayed.

He ruled Bate is entitled to compensation for two separate periods of delay before his final hearing. It means Bate is due a payout for “stress and anxiety” over four months, between March and June 2016.

He will also receive compensation for five months “delayed liberty”, between November 2016 and March 2017.

The judge said Bate would have suffered more from delayed release than the average prisoner due to his mental health issues.