A 19-YEAR-OLD who punched a man and stole £20 from him in a late-night incident in Dursley was warned by a judge that he would face a lengthy prison sentence if he offended again.

Christopher Lloyd was told by Judge Jamie Tabor "You are now a marked man" after a probation report said he posed "a high risk of causing serious harm to the public".

Judge Tabor said: "If you commit another act of violence, and the probation service finds that you have not changed, you will be classified as a dangerous offender and could face life in prison or an extended sentence of which you will serve every day. It’s very serious indeed."

At an earlier hearing at Gloucester Crown Court Lloyd, of no fixed address, but formally of High Street, Tredworth, Gloucester, had pleaded guilty to theft and common assault charges. He also admitted making malicious communications after sending threatening and unpleasant text messages to his mother’s former husband.

Prosecutor Greg Gordon said that on July 28 last year, two Dursley men were walking in St George’s Road in the town shortly before midnight, when they were approached by Lloyd and another.

He said the pair took £20 from Martin Thomas and when they were pursued, Mr Thomas was punched.

Three days later, Dafydd Gingell, who had broken up with Lloyd’s mother the previous day, received the first of a series of “rather nasty” text messages, said Mr Gordon.

Lloyd used his mother’s mobile telephone to send the messages. In one he said "You are a dead man - trust" in another he threatened to slit Mr Gingell’s throat.

Mr Gordon said Mr Gingell was "clearly very distressed" by these messages.

The court was told that Lloyd had a number of previous convictions including some for violence.

Matthew Harbinson, defending, said Lloyd had spent 177 days in custody which was a considerable period of time for a young person. He was trying hard to deal with the issues that had been highlighted in the pre-sentence report, Mr Harbinson said.

Judge Tabor told Lloyd he tried to resolve his problems with his fists and by sending extremely unpleasant messages.

He had spent nearly six months in custody already and this was longer than any sentence the judge would have been able to give for these offences.

Judge Tabor imposed a two-week curfew, from 8pm to 6am, and ordered that he live at an address in Stroud arranged by the probation service. He imposed a two year supervision order and programme requirement, ordering him to pay £20 compensation and victim surcharge of £60.