A “VIGILANTE” who hit a man over the head with a paving slab has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Stefan Leddan attacked his girlfriend’s mother’s partner following a family row, leaving him needing stitches.

At Salisbury Crown Court on Monday, Nicholas Cotter, prosecuting, said the terrified victim had since suffered sleepless nights and a lack of appetite and no longer wanted to leave his home.

A victim impact statement read to the court said: “I’ve never been in a situation where I was so scared for my life. I’m glad the weapon only did the damage it did and not worse. I hope he realises the seriousness of his actions.”

The court heard Ledden, of Green Lane, Redruth, Cornwall, has nine previous convictions for 25 offences, but only one for a violent offence.

Defending, Audrey Archer said: “He accepts he should never have got involved with other people’s problems and taken the law into his own hands.”

She said he was angry and intoxicated and perceived a threat but he has grown up since discovering he was going to be a father, and now has a full-time job as a chef.

Ledden admitted assault but denied he intended to cause the victim serious harm. However, a jury found him guilty of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Judge John Dixon said: “Whether or not he was the sort of man you believed him to be, you had no business acting as a sort of vigilante. You were determined that he was going to be punished. “It’s a mercy that someone who was struck with a paving slab survived with only some minor scarring.”

He also ordered him to pay £120 victim surcharge.

• Karl Jeffery, of Bulford Road, Durrington, was sentenced to a six-month suspended jail sentence at the court on Monday for intimidating a witness in connection with the above case.

The court heard that Jeffery, 20, had seen the victim in the street two days after the incident and had made a gesture threatening to slit his throat.

He is to be supervised for 18 months, complete a thinking skills programme and 125 hours of unpaid work and was ordered to pay an £80 victim surcharge.