A JUDGE sent a teenager to a young offenders' institution for a total of 36 weeks for assault and for breaching a suspended sentence - and told him he was "very lucky" not to have been locked up for longer.

Sentencing Kaleel Abbes at Newport Crown Court, Judge Jeremy Jenkins said the 19-year-old had been wrongly charged over an attack he carried out on a man in the city centre on May 28 this year.

Abbes, of Arthur Street, Pill, Newport, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault by beating. But having heard the evidence, which involved the victim being bitten, Judge Jenkins said assault occasioning actual bodily harm was more appropriate, and he had been "wrongly charged".

"This inhibits the court's powers of sentence," said Judge Jenkins.

Prosecuting counsel Richard Ace told the court that Abbes' victim was sitting on monument steps on Bridge Street and had seen a couple who appeared to be arguing with Abbes.

"He (the victim) looked at them and Kaleel Abbas said "what are you looking at?" and ran over and punched him on the left temple," said Mr Ace.

He added that his victim managed to put Abbes in a headlock but continued to be punched, and as they grappled they fell to the ground.

Abbes, on top of his victim, then punched him in the face and at some point during the struggle bit him on an ear and a shoulder.

The attack only ended when police officers arrived and used PAVA spray on Abbes before arresting him.

Abbes, who pleaded guilty to a charge of assault by beating, was in breach of an eight-month suspended sentence imposed in March for an offence of possessing a class B drug with intent to supply.

Defence counsel Vanessa Francis said Abbes and his family are "desperately concerned" about his mental health, which he and they believe is deteriorating.

He has been suffering from auditory hallucinations and psychotic symptoms "which no doubt played a part in the way he behaved on this occasion", said Miss Francis.

Judge Jenkins activated 28 weeks of the suspended sentence, and added a further eight weeks - to run consecutively - for the assault.

"You are very lucky to have been charged in the way you have been, and not with a more serious offence, which would be more appropriate for your behaviour," he told Abbes.

"You have not learned one iota from the sentence passed in March."