MAGISTRATES have called for help for a mentally-ill man who has repeatedly attacked innocent people in the street.

Osman Bacha, 28, who has a range of health problems and is autistic, was sent to jail for four months by the bench, but won his release as he has served his time on remand.

The Burnley bench had been told how social services were concerned about the defendant being released but could not stop him from going out.

Bacha, who lives in a supported tenancy in Burnley, has struck a total of eight times since last summer, turning on strangers or his carers.

Sentencing, the magistrates echoed social services' concerns and told the court Bacha's victims, who included a mother and toddler, were vulnerable and he hit them for no reason.

The chairman warned the defendant he had to behave and stop offending -- but added passing the prison term was all the bench could do.

She said: "We do hope the authorities find some way of helping Mr Bacha to be able to sort out his life. This is a difficult case and we are concerned."

Bacha, whose address the court earlier ordered should not be revealed, admitted three counts of assault by beating and was also convicted of racially aggravated common assault and four allegations of committing a further offence during a conditional discharge.

The court heard Bacha lived alone in a supported tenancy, although other people were expected to move in.

The defendant, who did not tolerate staff very well, would get anxious and assault somebody at home or go out and hit somebody.

Sara Lyle, defending, said although Bacha's long-term care was an issue, the court had to sentence him for the offences.