A SEDGLEY man beat a neighbour with a wooden table leg because he thought he had stolen his bicycle.

At Wolverhampton Crown Court Judge John Wait slammed Brent Cotterell for deciding to "take the law into his own hands" but he ruled he would allow him to keep his freedom because he was of previous good character.

The judge told Cotterell: "You believed your neighbour had stolen the bike and when he did not admit it and you did not get it back to lost your temper.”

He said the 35-year-old - instead of reporting the matter to the police - armed himself with a weapon and inflicted "unpleasant" injuries on the victim in an attack "prompted by alcohol and a lack of judgement."

Cotterell, of North Springfield Road, admitted wounding and was given a ten month jail term suspended for 18 months coupled with 18 months supervision.

The judge further ordered him to carry out 80 hours unpaid work in the community and to pay a total of £500 in costs.

Nick Cartwright, prosecuting, said Cotterell had first threatened his neighbour with a knife before telling him he had an hour to return his bike.

Cotterell then picked up the wooden table leg he kept near his front door and struck the victim over the head inflicting a wound that required six staples. He also hit him about the legs and back.

The judge said the use of a weapon to inflict injury clearly merited a custodial sentence but he was able to avoid sending him away because of his lack of previous convictions.