A dog walker got a suspended jail sentence and was ordered to pay a cyclist £200 compensation on Friday for an attack which a court chairman said was “completely unprovoked”.

It happened on the seafront cycle track and walkway at Deganwy last April and 50-year-old Mark Albiston of Coed y Felin, Conwy, had denied common assault but been found guilty on November 19.

After magistrates received a probation report he was ordered to pay compensation to the cyclist, Alexander Edwards, 37, and received a 12-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months.

In addition he must carry out 100 hours of unpaid work in a 12-month community order which includes rehabilitation involving thinking skills and anger management. His total bill, including compensation and costs, is £1,065.

Llandudno court chairman Darren Campbell referred to it as “this sustained attack, use of a foot and also threats to kill”.

Prosecuting, Diane Williams said Albiston had his dog on an extendable lead and he made no effort to wind it in as the cyclist passed, Mr Edwards remarking “Watch your dog.”

At this, the defendant swore, Mr Edwards dismounted and there was an argument and twice Albiston grabbed his chest and thrust him into a thorny bush. Then he pushed him to the ground and grabbed him around the neck.

Mr Edwards said he was struggling for breath for about 20 seconds. Albison had stamped on his chest, was abusive and threatened to kill him” before witnesses intervened, Mrs Williams said.

In an impact statement the victim said he had been to A and E with a hand injury and the incident made him anxious about encountering Albiston again.

A probation officer told the court that Albiston still maintained his innocence. He worked for a renewable energy firm and had said he was suffering from depression.

Andrew Hutchinson, defending, said it appeared that an injury to Mr Edwards’ fingers had apparently exacerbated one which had been caused when he was out running a few weeks previously.

The court chairman told Albiston, visibly upset, that the compensation was for the psychological damage caused to the cyclist.  

“Given the offence was completely unprovoked and you demonstrated

very little remorse for your action we feel the custody threshold has been passed,”  he explained. “The reason we are suspending it is because we feel there is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation.”