A MAN who suffered a vicious beating in Swindon after asking two men to be polite to staff in a late-night takeaway is angry after his attackers were spared a prison sentence.

Michael Dawson still struggles to breathe properly after being kicked in the head and punched in the face when he and his friend Darren Woodward were brutally attacked and robbed by drunken teenagers Daniel Bowen and Mohammed Uddin, of Sarum Avenue, Melksham, last October.

This week, Judge Peter Blair QC handed the 18-year-olds two-year suspended sentences after they admitted robbery and attempted robbery.

Bowen, of Newtown, Trowbridge, also admitted fraud, after using credit cards stolen from Michael to buy goods online following the attack.

Speaking after the hearing, the 25-year-old warehouse operative, from Moredon, said the sentences felt like ‘a slap in the face’.

“I thought that they might at least give a six month sentence, which in my mind is still too lenient, but for them to walk free completely, it just makes me sick,” he said.

“I had to take time off work because of my injuries, and I still have difficulty breathing, but the people who did this are free to go and do it again.”

Michael, who nursed his mum through cancer, was spending a rare evening out with Darren and first bumped into Bowen and Uddin when they went into Tennessee Chicken, in Victoria Road, at around 2am on October 3.

The pair were abusing staff about how long the food was taking, and Darren asked them to be more patient.

Michael said: “They weren’t happy and got in both our faces. But they left and I didn’t think anything of it.

“Darren and I got our food and we went over to sit on the benches near the library to eat it.

“I think they were by the library in the bushes there because that’s when they came over.

“They asked us why we were getting involved in Tennessee Chicken, and we said we were sorry if we had offended them and then, from out of nowhere, one of them punched me in the face.

“It was quite frightening. I didn’t know whether they had knives.

“Then something hit me, and I can’t remember a lot after that. Apparently I was kicked in the head.”

As he was down, Michael realised one of the attackers was going through his pockets and looking at his phone, but when he said it was a rubbish phone, the offender left it. They did, however, take his wallet, which contained credit cards and some cash.

Michael’s mum, Joan, 60, said: “It’s just disgusting that because they were drunk, because they were young, that because they had no previous convictions, they’re getting let off like this.

“I feel very let down by the police and by the courts that innocent people can have this done to them and the perpetrators get away with it.”

Sentencing the pair at court, Judge Peter Blair QC, said: “It is important for me to very much bear in mind your age, you are 18, and the significant feature that neither of you have previous conviction, albeit you have come to the attention of the police in the past in a relation to violence.”

He added: “I think you are capable of taking this as a last warning. I think you are capable of not coming back to the courts again in future.”

He imposed two-year jail terms suspended for two years with 180 hours of unpaid work, £500 compensation and £100 surcharge and said Bowen must also do a thinking skills programme.