A TEENAGER who spat in the faces of a woman and her 19-month-old daughter has avoided jail after admitting assault.

Joshua Derosa, of St Nicholas Road, Wallingford, pleaded guilty to two counts of common assault and was sentenced at Oxford Crown Court on Friday.

Matthew Walsh, prosecuting, said the 19-year-old committed the offences as part of a campaign of threatening behaviour towards a woman who gave evidence against him in another case.

The court heard how Derosa approached his victim, Gemma King, and four of her children including 19-month-old Kira, at a bus stop in Wallingford at about midday on February 22 this year.

Mr Walsh told Judge Gordon Risius the two exchanged angry words and the defendant spat in the woman’s face, with saliva also going in the face of her daughter, who she was holding.

The barrister said Derosa’s victim and her children were left “terrified” by his actions.

He added the teenager already had 11 convictions on his record for 23 offences, including criminal damage and robbery.

Judge Risius told Derosa he had a “thoroughly anti-social record” and needed to grow up and start behaving like a man. He said: “Spitting in the street is always unpleasant behaviour, but when it is aimed at other people it amounts to a common assault.”

He sentenced him to a 12-month community order and made him subject to a five-year restraining order. Derosa will also have to pay a £60 victims’ surcharge.

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