A PETROL station worker hit a man more than 70 times with a rubber mallet during a ‘moment of madness’ in the middle of the night.

Dad-of-six Waheed Khalid suffered a ‘dramatic loss of control’ when he attacked Kieran Tyler in a spell of violence that lasted almost 10 minutes inside the Rose Hill Service Station in Blackburn.

However Khalid, who was of previous good character, walked free from Preston Crown Court after a judge was told the circumstances of the incident and heard Khalid’s strong personal mitigation.

Jailing him for 18 months, suspended for two years, Judge Richard Gioserano explained how there had been a degree of provocation from Khalid’s victim, who had entered the petrol station with three other men at around 2.30am on August 14 2019.

“Kieran Taylor entered with three others as a gang. Two of them are up to no good, they can be seen stealing but the victim was not involved in that,” he said.

“The trouble begins with you and him because you refused to sell him a single cigarette and you had good reason to refuse. He clearly took that badly and was aggressive. He refused to leave the shop and he knocked over one of the stands on the counter. That was in my judgement the last straw for you, and you lost your self-control.”

The court heard how Khalid used an emergency button under the counter to detain Mr Tyler, who was now in the shop alone. CCTV footage played in court showed the defendant moving towards his victim with the mallet in one hand and a phone in the other.

This, it was said, provoked Mr Tyler to punch Khalid in the face.

Judge Gioserano continued: “Your reaction to his provocation was grossly excessive and in fact shocking. You started to strike him and hit a number of times. It is clear he had injuries to the face and head. You continued to use the rubber mallet against him even when he was subdued, bleeding and had in fact surrendered.”

The extent of Tyler’s injuries were never known as he refused to cooperate with the police investigation and as such, Khalid had to be sentenced on the basis his victim made a full recovery.

“The expression a moment of madness is one that is often used, sometimes it is used appropriately sometimes it is not. This was indeed a moment of madness. A dramatic loss of control by a man who was otherwise leading a law-abiding, decent life as a committed, hard-working family man,” Judge Gioserano continued.

The pre-sentence report carried out on Khalid explained that he was ‘full of remorse’ for what had taken place and made clear that there was a realistic prospect of rehabilitation.

The Judge continued: “This is a difficult balancing exercise and I would not want anyone to think it is anything other than that. On the one hand this is a serious offence. It is inexcusable. The courts cannot condone nor be seen in anyway to attempt to justify this sort of gross over-reaction to provocation of this kind.

“On the other hand I have to weigh against that the realistic prospect of rehabilitation, your strong mitigation, and also the harmful impact an immediate sentence of imprisonment would have on others.”

Khalid, of Newcastle Street, Blackburn, must carry-out 250 hours of unpaid work and attend a 10 day rehabilitation activity requirement programme.