A 17-YEAR-OLD boy pushed a girl into a canal, punched her and spat in her face, a youth court has heard.

The teenager, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, appeared before Liverpool Youth Court this afternoon (Wednesday, November 13).

On the evening of April 7, the boy carried out the attack on a girl at the Hotties canal, which left her with "cuts and bruises".

Her iPhone 6 was smashed and her £350 coat "ripped" as she fell into the canal.

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The boy had pleaded guilty on October 4 to assault by beating and one count of criminal damage in relation to the incident after entering an earlier not guilty plea.

Meanwhile, he also pleaded guilty to another count of criminal damage in relation to a separate incident on September 9 when he caused a screen at McDonald's on Church Street to smash after throwing a coin in the direction of a friend.

Prosecuting, Christopher Fontaine, told the court that on the evening of the assault, the girl victim was with "10 to 15 of her friends" at the Hotties canal at around 8pm.

It was said she had seen the offender previously "four or five times but had never spoken" with her.

Mr Fontaine said the defendant "walked past her and kicked her in the leg.

"She said 'why?' and he pushed her in the chest and she fell into the canal."

After she got out of the water, he "punched her full force in the left side of the jaw".

His friends came and tried to restrain him and he "spat on her face" and also "punched her lip".

Mr Fontaine added, that though the victim had "nothing broken" she had "bruising and cuts".

St Helens Star:

The boy was sentenced at Liverpool Youth Court, based at the Crown Court building

In reading a personal statement from the victim he said: "She states the incident really affected me and I have not been out on my own since the incident.

"She says: 'If I am going anywhere near there I make sure I get a lift from my parents and make sure I am with friends' and 'I don't want anything like that to happen again'."

On the incident at McDonald's, Mr Fontaine said the defendant "threw an object in the direction of his friends which hit one of the screens and caused it to smash and ran away".

The court heard the boy has one previous conviction, for which he received a referral order.

Defending, Paul Potter, said the 17-year-old has had a challenging life and is a cannabis user.

He added that he is "still suffering and is still in pain" after suffering a serious assault.

Passing sentence, district judge Andrew Shaw gave the teenager a youth rehabilitation order for a period of 12 months and a curfew for three months, running from 8pm to 8am.

The boy was also ordered to pay £350 in compensation for the assault and £40 for the criminal damage.