A TEENAGER with an "appalling" criminal record has been urged to change his ways - after headbutting a care home worker.
District Judge John Foster said detention would be a "terrible, terrible waste" of the 13-year-old boy's life.
Mr Foster added: "What you did was serious. Had you been a couple of years older, I would have sent you into custody. The victim of this offence was looking after you.
"You're a bright lad who likes making things. You have to do the best for yourself. You have to get the best qualifications. You can do positive things with your life such as working or going to college."
Jayne Ormrod, prosecuting, said the teenager was asked by a female care worker to do something and lost his temper.
She said he spat at the woman, there was a struggle and the care worker was headbutted.
The teenager, who admitted assault, was given a 10-week curfew, ordered to undergo 12 months of supervision and do 12 hours of work in the community.