A SOUTHAMPTON man attacked a victim so brutally that a witness thought the man may have been killed in the attack.

Kieron O’Reilly launched the assault on his victim in the middle of the street as he attempted to cross the road.

Southampton Crown Court heard O’Reilly and a friend delivered a flurry of punches and kicks to the victim after he fell to the floor.

Appearing at crown court, O’Reilly, 20, was given a youth detention order for nearly two years.

The court heard the incident took place in Windrush Road, Southampton on August 27, around 10.30pm.

Prosecutor Edward Elton said the victim left his home and, as he was walking down the street, saw O’Reilly and another man, who had a dog with him.

He said: “He tried to cross the road but the defendant and the other man followed him into the middle of the road.

“The defendant said O’Reilly said to him “you know what is going to happen don’t you?”.

“He then threw a punch and the blow sent him to the floor.”

Mr Elton told the court that O’Reilly and the other man continued to punch and kick the victim while he was on the floor.

Mr Elton read a victim impact statement, in which the man said: “I’m fearful of leaving the house. I’ve stopped wanting to go out with my friends.

“I would not wish what I had to go through on anybody.”

Mitigating for O’Reilly, who has 28 convictions for 46 offences, Jo Chester said her client came from a “disadvantaged background”.

She said the attack was related to a long-running dispute between O’Reilly and his victim.

O’Reilly, of Archers Road, Southampton, pleaded guilty to one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

In sentencing O’Reilly, Judge Christopher Parker QC described the assault as a “targeted” attack.

He said: “Your victim received punches and kicks to his head. You did not stop until a neighbour intervened because they were in fear for the man’s life.”

O’Reilly was sentenced to 21 months youth detention for the assault and a total of 28 days for two counts of failing to surrender to bail – which he admitted.