A DAD-TO-BE who headbutted a disabled elderly man, breaking his cheekbone and eye-socket, in a row over a parking space has avoided jail.

A judge was told Scott McKenna, from Cirencester, had made 'tremendous progress' in kicking his drug habit and had kept out of trouble and saved £500 to pay compensation to his victim since his last court appearance.

Defending lawyer Dermot Clarke told Gloucester Crown Court: "My client has taken up the challenge you set him in January and he has succeeded.

"He has stopped smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol and he has made tremendous progress.

"His partner is expecting a baby in a few days time."

Judge Jamie Tabor QC said: "It is very rare for a young man like you who hurt a pensioner in the way that you did to meet the challenges I gave you and do what I suggested.

"You have done remarkably well and I am delighted with the progress that you have made. It is quite fantastic."

At an earlier hearing the court heard that pensioner David Gouvier, who suffers with arthritic knees, was attacked by McKenna just for telling his mum Tracy she should not have parked in the disabled bays outside the Cirencester Lidl store without a blue badge.

Cannabis smoker McKenna, 27, became angry and agitated and unleashed a 'lunging headbutt' at Mr Gouvier, 68, before walking off 'with a swagger.'

Six months ago McKenna, of Queens Road, Watermoor, admitted assaulting Mr Gouvier causing him actual bodily harm at Lidl on August 2 last year.

Judge Jamie Tabor QC said it was a cowardly attack and McKenna deserved to go straight to prison.

But he said McKenna was saved from immediate jail by a medical report which warned his mental health was 'not very good' and would get worse if he was locked up.

The judge deferred sentence on him for six months to see if he could stay out of trouble, save £500 to pay compensation, get mental health treatment and overcome his cannabis habit.

Told yesterday that McKenna had complied with all his demands the judge gave him a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered him to pay £250 compensation on top of the £500 he had already saved up.