A JUDGE has today (Friday) warned drunken young men to stay out of Tenby.

Judge Geraint Walters said the people and shopkeepers of the town were "fed up" with drunken visitors behaving like violent children.

And he criticised local magistrates for dealing "pitifully leniently" with the man who started a fight one Saturday afternoon last summer.

Judge Walters was speaking at Swansea crown court as he sentenced Ashleigh Palfreyman, aged 27, who admitted wounding and causing an affray on June 30 last year.

Palfreyman, of Pen Isaf Coed, St Thomas, Swansea, was with a group from Penlan rugby club, Swansea, who "invaded" Tenby.

One of the group fought with another man and Simon James went to help his friend who was being attacked.

Palfreyman approached Mr James from behind "and delivered an almighty punch that knocked him unconscious."

Mr James needed so many stitches in "an ugly" wound to his lip he was given a general anaesthetic by doctors.

Palfreyman, said Judge Walters, "was not content with that and went bouncing around the streets looking for anyone else who might like similar treatment."

CCTV footage "showed decent members of the public making themselves scarce."

Judge Walters said local magistrates had been wrong to deal with the case against the man who started the fighting.

The instigator had been sentenced only to community service and ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work after admitting affray.

"If you start a fight in the centre of Tenby on a Saturday afternoon a community order is totally inadequate.

"If he had been in the dock with you now you would both be going down," said Judge Walters.

He added, "I regard your offending of wounding and affray as particularly serious. This was violence that others participated in.

"People like you need to understand that the public are rightly fed up with juvenile behaviour by grown men who act like thugs in a public place.

"This was Tenby on a Saturday afternoon which you and the rest of your gang invaded.

"There were mothers and children about and the traders of Tenby were trying to make a living.

"You were intent on behaving like children, drinking to excess and using water pistols to spray members of the public and then squaring up to anyone who dared to look at you."

Judge Walters said police were not met with "grown up" behaviour when they went to Penlan rugby club seeking to identify the man who had attacked Mr James.

The officers, he said, had not been given any assistance.

Judge Walters told Palfreyman, "On behalf of the people of Tenby I would like to lock you up for as long as I could but I have to apply the law."

And he had to have regard to the sentence given to his friend.

Palfreyman was jailed for 12 months, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to complete 35 days of a rehabilitation activity, 180 hours of unpaid work and to pay his victim £750 in compensation.

And he will have to abide by a 9pm to 6am curfew for the next six months.