A "snivelling wretch" who claimed he ran South Oxhey has been jailed for more than three years.

Teenager, Bradley Cresswell, was told that he was not the "big man" he thought he was by Judge John Plumstead when he was sentenced to three years and two months in prison.

Cresswell appeared before St Albans Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday).

The court heard how the 18-year-old had called two friends to Charter Place in Watford, where he was involved in a confrontation with Daniel Haley, a man he did not know.

When Derek Mullen, 24, and Richard Smith, 27, arrived, all three set about Mr Haley beating him repeatedly, the court was told.

Prosecutor Kevin West said: "It was a three onto one attack. The victim tried to defend himself, but he ended up on the ground where he was kicked."

Cresswell of Lincoln Drive, South Oxhey, Mullen of Ashridge Drive, Watford and Smith of Muirfield Road, Watford, all pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm on January 17.

Cresswell also admitted a public order offence, supplying cocaine and dangerous driving.

On July 13, Cresswell's Staffordshire dog savaged a neighbour's cat. When the cat's owners complained, Cresswell, who styled himself as the man who ran South Oxhey, made threats. A photo recovered from his Blackberry showed him posing gangster-style with a wad of cash.

Police saw a man on a moped deliver a 2.3g wrap of cocaine to a house in Watford on August 3. When it was examined, Cresswell's fingerprints were found on it.

Two days later, on August 5, he drove a Volvo along Prestwick Road and Brookdene Avenue, South Oxhey, crashing head-on into another car, which was written-off. He then side-swiped another car before crashing into two parked vehicles. Cresswell left the scene, leaving an injured friend in the car, but his DNA was found in the vehicle.

For Cresswell, Chris Georgiou said he had ADHD. He said he was supported in court by his parents and was young enough to turn his life around.

Daniel Hart for Mullen said he had received a phone call from his friend and went to Charter Place where "matters unfolded quickly." He went on: "It was difficult for him to think clearly and he regrets being involved."

He said had been remanded in custody for a month, but had work lined up with a building firm. He was hoping to have an apprenticeship in plastering.

For Smith, Andel Singh said the assault had been on the "spur of the moment." He said he was working full-time as a roofer.

Sentencing Cresswell, Judge Plumstead said Mr Haley had done nothing to deserve the attack. He said: "You said you rule South Oxhey and that you are a big man. You are not. You are a snivelling wretch. You had better learn to control your impulsive behaviour or it will lead to longer and longer sentences."

Cresswell was also banned from driving for 12 months and must take an extended retest before he can get his licence back.

Mullen and Smith received nine month jail sentences suspended for 18 months. They were each ordered to pay Mr Haley £500 compensation. Smith must also attend a Thinking Skills Programme.