A homeless teenager sleeping rough with his brother behind a pizza takeaway restaurant has been jailed for six months for attacking one of its employees.

Mark Ellis, 19, had been a nuisance to Croxley Green business Farm House Pizza for many months after sleeping in its storage rooms.

But he went a step further on Wednesday, May 2, when he punched Mustafa Baluch after he asked Ellis, who was drunk, to get out of the restaurant.

Mr Baluch received a cut to his left eye brow that needed five stitches at Watford General Hospital.

Malachy Packenham, prosecuting, at Hemel Hempstead Magistrates Court on Friday, May 11, said: "Ellis went in with three others including his brother.

"The injured party recognised him and his brother. He had been a nuisance in the shop for a four month period.

"He has lived in the storage area at the rear of the shop."

Ellis was asked to leave and began swearing. Mr Baluch told Ellis he had telephoned police to which he replied "the police won't touch me".

As he was being ushered out Ellis punched Mr Baluch three times and left the shop. He was arrested two days later and kept in custody.

Patrick O'Reilly, defending, said Ellis "deeply regrets" what he had done.

The court heard he had lived around there all his life, but he and his brother had "fended for themselves" since their mother left the area two years ago.

Ellis had been released early from a young offenders institution for burglary and battery at the time of the offence, but District Judge Peter Crabtree said he would not make him serve the little that remained on the sentence.

Ellis will serve three months before he is released on licence again.