A YOUNG man who battered a taxi driver over the head with a hammer just two weeks after being freed from jail has been put back behind bars.

Sentencing 26-year-old Gareth Wilson today, Monday, Judge Brian Lewis said that his "selfish, vicious behaviour" has impacted on the lives of his victim and his family but fortunately the injuries were not more serious.

"It is lucky you did not fracture his skull," he said.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that at about 10pm on April 28 taxi driver Mark Burgess was sent to a flat in Tamar Grove in Leigh.

While he was waiting Wilson walked over to the driver's open window carrying a young girl and asked him to turn his engine off as it was frightening his daughter, said Gerry Baxter, prosecuting.

Wilson became agitated and when Mr Burgess tried to drive off he "dropped" the child and attacked Mr Burgess until he was able to open the door with such force that Wilson fell over.

"The defendant got up and attacked him through the open door hitting him in the face and knocking his glasses off. Mr Burgess got out, trying to push him away," said Mr Baxter.

"A woman came out and joined in the attack on him dragging him away from the car which enabled the defendant to get into the driver's seat and he tried to start the car.”

The victim managed to pull Wilson from the car and he disappeared into the flats, returning with a hard rubber mallet that he used to hit Mr Burgess with while the female was holding him.

Mr Burgess managed to wrestle the hammer from him before Wilson ran off.

His injuries included a four and a half inch gash to the left side of his head. In a victim impact statement Mr Burgess said that he was off work for a week and he has also grown his hair and wears a hat because of the scarring to his head, said Mr Baxter.

Wilson, of Glebe Street, Leigh, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent and was jailed for six years and ten months.

Natalia Cornwall, defending, said that Wilson was on licence from a sentence for burglary and other offences at the time.

He was remorseful for his behaviour which occurred while he was intoxicated. His record shows that Wilson, who was brought up in care, is dishonest but not usually violent.