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Last Updated: Friday, 30 November 2007, 14:02 GMT
Payout for Halloween attack boy
Christopher Eslick
The court heard Eslick shouted and swore at the boy before hitting him
A man who punched an eight-year-old trick-or-treater in the face has been given a suspended prison sentence and told to pay compensation.

Christopher Eslick, 61, of Plymouth, Devon, pleaded guilty to the common assault outside his home at Halloween.

He had put a "no trick-or-treat" poster up and lashed out when the boy called.

Eslick was given a two-month prison sentence suspended for a year, ordered to do 80 hours of community service and told to pay the victim 150.

The boy was one of a number of young people to have called at Eslick's home despite the poster.

Eslick, of Charlotte Street, told police he was so fed up with Halloween callers that he lashed out when he saw the boy, who was wearing a horror mask.

The child was left shocked and with a cut lip.

Clenched fist

Plymouth Magistrates' Court heard the attack was witnessed by police community support officers who were on duty in Morice Town to make sure trick-or-treaters did not cause trouble.

Miss Jenny Cater, prosecuting, said Eslick shouted and swore at the boy before hitting him in the face with his clenched fist.

She told the court the notice was behind the window glass and was poorly lit.

Eslick, who represented himself, said the notice was issued by the police and was easy to see and read.

"I feel there was an element of provocation but it is no excuse and I am distressed that I let my temper slip in this way," he said.

Plymouth magistrate Paul Farmer told Eslick there was no excuse for his behaviour.

"You are old enough to know better," he said.

Christopher Eslick left the child with a cut lip


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