A THUG who left his victim in hospital for weeks in a “sickening” attack has been spared a prison sentence.

Sonny Walker assaulted Svetozar Popov in Brighton.

Mr Popov had stepped in to check if a young woman was well when he feared Walker and his pals might cause problems.

He was then assaulted and left with injuries in hospital.

At Brighton Crown Court Walker admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm.

But Judge Shani Barns was told the attack was “completely out of character” for Walker, who has difficulties.

She imposed a one-year suspended sentence.

Anna Dutka, prosecuting, said the attack happened in December last year.

Robert Gregory, defending, said Walker, 20, of Findon Road, Brighton, was “shocked and sickened” when he saw CCTV footage of the attack.

He said Walker feared going to prison because of the impact upon his family and whether he could cope.

Walker could not remember anything about the attack, and had “fallen into the wrong crowd” taking class A drugs and drinking too much, Mr Gregory said.

But he has no previous convictions, and the attack was “out of character”.

Judge Barns said: “A young man had asked a woman if she was ok.

“He should not have ended up in hospital with injuries that lasted for weeks and weeks and weeks.

“This was out of character.

“But this is a serious thing that you have done to an innocent young man.

“You must not use your size in order to hurt someone for no reason.

“Alcohol and class A drugs are your enemies.”

Walker was ordered to complete ten rehabilitation days with the probation service.