A TEENAGE dad who attacked a car with a baseball bat while a man was inside has been given a 'last chance' to turn his life around and keep out of trouble.

William Jordan already had a conviction for possession of a blade in public and could have been sentenced to a minimum term of detention of six months as a second strike weapons offence.

However, a Worcester judge said it would be unjust to impose an immediate term of imprisonment after hearing mitigation from William Dudley, the 18-year-old's barrister, at Worcester Crown Court on Friday.

The defendant of Walter Nash Road East, Kidderminster had already admitted possession of an offensive weapon and criminal damage following the incident in March.

Mr Dudley said: "There are, in my submission, some very positive glimmers of hope for this young man. This is a man who is at the potential watershed moment in his life where his life could go one of two very different directions."

While accepting that the offences crossed the custody threshold, he told the judge: "This is now a father who stands before you."

The barrister said his client was a ground worker and a man with 'genuine prospects', arguing that an immediate custodial sentence would result in 'the rug being pulled out from under him'.

"This is a man who may well deserve one last chance. You are justified in taking a chance on him," he said.

Judge Martin Jackson, sentencing, said Jordan had turned 18 on March 12 this year and nine days later was involved in this offence which involved an attack by another male.

"You took a metal baseball bat to his car, smashing the windows and causing damage to it. By pleading guilty to the charge you admitted that you had that baseball bat with the intention to cause injury" he said.

Accepting that Jordan was at a crossroads in his life, he also noted that the defendant had three previous convictions for criminal damage and also convictions for theft.

The starting point for a second weapons offence (after the bladed article offence) is a minimum custodial sentence of six months within the sentencing guidelines.

However, Judge Jackson told Jordan he could step back from a custodial sentence and that it would be unjust in his circumstances to impose one.

"At the age of 18 you are now entering the world of adult life. You have got yourself a job" he said, after reading a recent reference from his employer.

"You have now become a father" he said. He told the defendant that in his experience 'parenthood brings about a change in attitude on the part of a young man like you'.

"Very often it's a stabilising factor. You have now got responsibility for that young child" he said.

Judge Jackson imposed a two year community order to include 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days, a two month electronically tagged curfew which will run daily between 9pm and 7am and 160 hours of unpaid work. He must also pay £470 in compensation to the man whose car he damaged and £340 costs.

John Brotherton, prosecuting, said he could not request the forfeiture and destruction of the baseball bat as it was never recovered.

A restraining order will prohibit Jordan from having contacting with the victim, directly or indirectly, for the next two years. He must not attend any address where the injured party is known to live or work for that period.