A HOMELESS man stamped on another hostel resident's face, leaving his footprint on his flesh.

Jonathan Finch was jailed for eight months at Worcester Crown Court yesterday following the stamp on his victim’s face which he was told could have caused the man's death and counted as the use of a weapon.

The 28-year-old had already admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and criminal damage before his sentence.

A further charge of possession of offensive weapon (pool balls he had placed inside a sock) will be allowed to lie on file.

Finch was seen by a member of staff at St Paul’s Hostel in Tallow Hill, Worcester, to crush a tablet and snort the powder in contravention of the hostel’s rules on April 21.

Michael Conry, prosecuting, said Finch was challenged about his actions by a female member of staff who asked him to come inside the office.

Mr Conry said: “He denied it. She suggested they look at the CCTV. His response was to become aggressive and refuse to do so. He picked up a chair which he threw at the computers, causing damage to the monitors.”

During the incident the male victim, a hostel resident, intervened, asking Finch what he thought he was doing. Finch walked towards him, swearing and saying ‘you can have it as well’.

The victim defended himself, pushing Finch away but ended up being pushed to the floor.

“While he was on the floor the defendant has raised his right leg and stamped down on the victim's head, connecting with the left side of his face around his eye and cheekbone”Mr Conry said.

When police arrived they could clearly see the impression of Finch’s shoe on the victim’s face. Other residents pulled Finch off the victim.

Finch then went to another part of the hostel, placing pool balls inside a sock.

Mr Conry described Finch as having ‘a long record’ with 21 convictions for 49 offences, including shoplifting, possession of drugs, assaulting a police constable and battery.

Belinda Ariss, defending, said: “He does have some violence on his record but he’s not generally someone I would refer to as a violent person. He’s someone who has suffered from alcohol and drug addiction for many years.”

She said his previous behaviour at the hostel had been ‘good’ and he was ashamed of the way he had behaved on the day, accepting the man he had stamped on had simply been trying to clam the matter down.

However, at the time, Finch had been offended by that intervention. Miss Ariss said the description of Finch stamping on the man’s head was ‘somewhat of an exaggeration’, arguing that it was more of a downward kick and that the victim’s head had not struck the floor.

“There’s no other injuries except the footprint to the front of his face” she said.

Judge Nicholas Cole said Finch had become aggressive in front of two female members of staff at a hostel which was there to provide a service to the public, including vulnerable service users.

He said: “That hostel provides a service to those who have needs. You breached their hospitality by behaving in a totally unacceptable and violent manner.”

He added: “I have had the opportunity of seeing the photographs which show the clear imprint of the sole of the shoe on the victim’s face.

“Fortunately the injuries were not life-threatening. They could have been so. Those who stamp or kick others in the head do so in the knowledge that serious injuries can result. That is why the Sentencing Council treat use of a foot as a weapon which is an aggravating feature when looking at culpability.”

The judge said other aggravating features were that Finch was subject to post-sentence supervision at the time and that the victim had been living at the hostel.

The judge said although Finch had pleaded guilty at the crown court he did not indicate a guilty plea at magistrates court and had responded ‘no comment’ to questions in police interview.

However, he said he was prepared to give Finch full credit for his guilty plea.

He said the level of harm suffered fell into the lowest category while culpability fell into the highest.

The judge jailed him for eight months in total - eight months for the assault and one month to be served concurrently for the criminal damage.

The possession of an offensive weapon will be allowed to lie on file.