A TEENAGER who left a McDonald’s employee with a fractured skull and a bleed on the brain has avoided jail.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced at Poole Magistrates’ Court yesterday after admitting causing grievous bodily harm without intent.

The incident occurred at the McDonald’s in Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, just after 11pm on Friday, October 14 last year.

A male member of staff was manning the door to stop customers from coming in as the restaurant was shutting.

The court heard that the defendant, who was 16 at the time, had been trying to get back into the eatery after leaving.

When the victim opened the doors to let another customer leave he was punched hard in the face by the teenager causing the victim to fall back onto the floor.

The court heard that the employee suffered a fractured skull and bleeding and bruising to the brain. He spent 22 days in hospital following the incident and as a result of the injury has lost his sense of smell and is now at risk of seizures.

Louise Holmes, prosecuting, also said that he suffered post-traumatic amnesia following the incident and was unable to work or drive.

Ms Holmes said: “Following the incident he lost seven kilogrammes in weight and fears he may never return to his usual self.”

The court heard the defendant, who lives in Bournemouth, was arrested and interviewed on October 18 following a CCTV appeal.

Then on March 19 this year he was involved in another assault in Bournemouth town centre - again throwing a single punch and hitting a man in the face causing him to fall to the floor and cut his head.

Ms Holmes added: “Despite already being cautioned for the first assault and knowing the impact that single punch can cause he went out again and punched someone else.”

James Moore, defending, said the defendant was under the influence of alcohol and also suffers with a number of mental health issues which means he is not always able to address his temper.

He added: “He fully accepts responsibility and is in no doubt that this is unacceptable. He also knows that he could have been facing manslaughter or murder charges because one punch can kill.

“But this is also a young man who has been making big strides to change his ways.”

The defendant was handed a Youth Rehabilitation Order for 18 months, which includes a six-month curfew. He was also ordered to pay £1,500 compensation.