A NEIGHBOURLY row over parking turned violent when a thug struck a man with a bicycle fork.

Matthew Hall left victim Josh Berry with “nasty” injuries after the incident in Brighton.

The 27-year-old thought his father had been in a confrontation with Mr Berry.

It was in reaction to a note left by Mr Berry’s mother on the windscreen of a van which she felt was taking up two spaces on her side of the road.

But Hall “grossly overreacted” to a “non-existent” situation, and hit Mr Berry over the head.

The victim was left dizzy and covered in blood, and was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

At Hove Crown Court, Hall admitted malicious wounding.

He was given a one-year suspended prison sentence, and ordered to complete 120 hours of community service.

Charlotte Morrish, prosecuting, said the incident happened in April last year.

She said Lisa Watson, Mr Berry’s mother, was angry about a van being parked on her side of the road which was taking up two spaces.

Hall’s father approached Mr Berry and said Ms Watson should not have left a note.

Mr Berry agreed, and that was the end of the conversation.

Ms Morrish said: “Mr Berry then spoke with neighbours, when all of a sudden the defendant approached looking angry.

“The defendant was saying something about Mr Berry ‘getting lary’ with his father. He picked up a bike fork from the ground and without warning hit Mr Berry.

“Mr Berry had not done anything to provoke the defendant, but saw blood dripping down his hoody and his hands.”

Judge Paul Tain said: “The victim’s mother put a perfectly legitimate note on the car, then your father spoke to the lad. There was no aggro there, you misinterpreted that, and went and confronted him.

“He did not do anything to contribute. You attacked him. It nearly ripped his ear off, presumably.”

The judge imposed the suspended sentence and unpaid work, and ordered Hall, of Stonecross Road, Brighton, to pay £900 in compensation.

Judge Tain said: “This is because of you grossly overreacting to a non-existent situation.

“He has suffered anxiety, and now fears going out in case he sees that crazy bloke across the road who hit him with a bike fork.”

Hall will pay the money back at a rate of £20 per week, from his benefits.