A JUDGE has described a 21-year-old from Sale - who launched an unprovoked attack on a walker - as "a very dangerous young man" and jailed him for 12 years.

Financial advisor Mark Liebert was taking some morning exercise along the canal towpath in Sale when he was set upon by Jamie Forster and a friend, Minshull Street Crown Court heard.

Forster falsely taunted him as a "paedo" before tripping him up and stamping on his head "really hard" more than 10 times.

Eyewitnesses watched as Forster mimicked the attack moments later, telling onlookers he was a "paedo hunter". People who witnessed the attack described it as "sickening".

Michael Blakey, prosecuting, said Forster's claims was completely bogus and his victim was left with bleeds on the brain and a fractured eye socket.

Forster already had a previous conviction for molesting a female jogger, also a complete stranger, three years ago, on a towpath, the court heard.

Jailing him, and imposing a four-year extended licence, Judge John Potter said: "This was just a gratuitous and violent attack upon him, as were the repulsive words you used in his direction."

Forster, formerly of Sidmouth Road, Sale, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm.

Mr Blakey said the defendant had also admitted to wounding with intent and possession of an offensive weapon in relation to an earlier attack.

The court heard Daniel Bannister had been for a night out in Sale when he was confronted by the defendant and a second man in the street.

Forster and Mr Bannister had been involved in a confrontation previously in the Bull's Head pub in Sale.

Mr Blakery said Forster took a long piece of silver metal from his friend, around 35 to 40cm in length, and charged towards Mr Bannister.

Wielding it in a figure of eight motion, Forster slashed at his victim, causing cuts and injuries to his hand, the court heard.

Mr Bannister later police he had been forced to take time off work and was now anxious when he went out.

Mr Liebert had been left unable to drive and also had to take three months off work.

Paul Hodgkinson, defending, said his client had experienced a "traumatic childhood" which had seen him physically abused by his mother and stepfather before being placed in care.

The offences had occurred at a time when his gran, the only stable figure in his upbringing, had died, and his partner had suffered a miscarriage, he added.

The defendant, who had learning difficulties and a speech impediment, accepted he had anger issues when he had been drinking.