NEIGHBOURS of a Lyme Regis father jailed for attacking a teenager say he deserves to be put behind bars.

Nicky Robert Prokopowycz, 29, of Summerhill Road, was sentenced to three years in prison after admitting causing grievous bodily harm.

Student Thomas Massey, 19, was out celebrating after securing a place at university when he was punched by Prokopowycz outside a Dorchester takeaway.

The youngster fell to the ground and hit his head, causing swelling to his brain that required a four-hour emergency operation.

Summerhill Road residents called for Prokopowycz to be evicted from his flat in the street following the incident on August 29.

He has been recently living at an address in Hardy Street, Dorchester, as part of his bail conditions as he awaits trial for a burglary in Lyme Regis. His girlfriend and two-year-old child remained at their Summerhill Road flat.

Neighbours claimed Nicky Prokopowycz had been nothing but trouble since he moved into the Magna housing flat and had even driven some residents away.

This week they welcomed news of his sentence and hope he never returns to their street.

None of the residents wished to be named for fear of reprisal.

A mother-of-three said: “I’m happy that someone like that is not in our street anymore. With the kids growing up I don’t want them having confrontations with someone like that.”

Another resident said: “It’s a good thing a criminal is off our street.”

One elderly resident told of what life was like when Prokopowycz was living in Summerhill Road.

“The whole street is incensed by it,” she said. “We are sick of it – we are sick to our eyeballs of what goes on there and the sort of people he attracts.”

Another pensioner in the street said she had seen Prokopowycz prowling around her garden.

“I’m glad he is in jail and I think he deserves prison. I think it will be a lot quieter in the street without him here and it looks like we don’t need to worry about him for a while. I don’t think he will come back here after all this.”

But another resident is worried about what might happen once he has served his time. She said: “I’m glad he is gone and let’s hope he doesn’t come back. But after three years, is he going to come back and do the same again?”

Another elderly neighbour said although he was pleased Prokopowycz had been jailed, some troublemakers still remained living in the street. He said: “I’m glad he has been put in prison, but there are a few more that could be got rid of as well – there are a lot of troublemakers up here. I think Magna just palms everybody off here – they don’t care, as long as they get their rent somehow or another. There are hardly any locals up here now – they’re all from Weymouth and Dorchester.”

Magna’s anti-social behaviour officer Ruth Ashdown said they had received complaints about Prokopowycz’s property in the past, resulting in warning letters and police visits but the situation had improved since August 2008 and the case was closed in February.

The association also refuted claims that local people were overlooked for housing in Lyme Regis. Re-housing manager Toni Beard said: “Last year 98 per cent of people housed by Magna in Lyme Regis were locals, or with strong local connections.

JUDGE Mr Justice Royce told Prokopowycz his young victim would live with the consequences of the attack ‘forever’.

Mr Justice Royce sentenced Prokopowycz to three years in prison and said 19-year-old Thomas Massey could be affected by his injuries for the rest of his life.

Elaine Jones, prosecuting, said Thomas was out in Dorchester with his friend Callum White on the night of August 29 and ended up at the Peking Town Chinese takeaway in High East Street at around 3.45am.

She said Thomas was waiting outside the restaurant while his friend went in for food and there were ‘verbal exchanges’ between him and a group of other people.

Ms Jones said: “Mr White saw a male suddenly, without any warning, punch Thomas Massey to the face.

“With the impact he fell to the ground and others heard the impact as his head made contact with the pavement.”

Ms Jones said Thomas was knocked unconscious and Mr White saw blood coming from a head injury.

Thomas was taken to Dorset County Hospital while Prokopowycz left the scene and went to his partner’s house in Lyme Regis – where he was arrested the following day.

Ms Jones said Prokopowycz, who had admitted grievous bodily harm, had previous convictions for affray and assault.

Peter Spink, mitigating, said Prokopowycz, 29, had shown ‘genuine regret and remorse’ since the incident.

He told the court how Prokopowycz was ‘frightened’ when a friend told him the following day that there was a forensic tent outside the takeaway and he thought he had killed the teenager.

Mr Spink said: “It was a single blow – there was no intention to cause serious injury.”

Prokopowycz will have to serve half of his sentence before he is eligible to be released on licence.

Mr Justice Royce told him: “The assault on Thomas Massey has had devastating consequences for him.

“What you did will affect him for ever.””