AN out-of-control youth viciously attacked his 'favourite' care worker and left her with a broken jaw and perforated eardrum.

The 17-year-old also sank his teeth into the woman's hand as she made a phone call to police.

He lashed out at her as she tried to calm a confrontation between him and a male member of staff at an Inverclyde children's home.

The youth, a first offender who can't be identified for legal reasons, flew into the violent rage on Father's Day last year.

Greenock Sheriff Court heard how staff had noted throughout the day that his mood was 'giving cause for concern'.

Prosecutor Frankie Morgan said: "The accused lashed out and punched the woman twice to the face.

"A male restrained the accused and the woman contacted the police.

"The accused then managed to bite her right hand.

"She required to attend Inverclyde Royal Hospital and had to undergo a blood test for HIV as well as tetanus and hepatitis immunisations.

"As a consequence of the punches, the woman suffered a perforated eardrum and a hairline fracture to her jaw."

Fiscal depute Mr Morgan added: "The accused expressed remorse to the police for his actions and stated that he struggles to control his temper."

The court was told how the youth now has his own tenancy and is a full-time college student.

His lawyer, Ellen Macdonald, said: "The report is clear that he has been in and out of care virtually since birth.

"His favourite worker is the woman he assaulted.

"His mum passed away from an overdose and this incident occurred on Father's Day.

"The woman, because of her relationship with him, intervened.

"He is deeply sorry for his behaviour and he wrote a letter of apology to her within days.

"He deeply regrets what he's done."

Ms Macdonald added: "He has struggled with what he has done, and with the court process and he tells me that he will never be here again.

"He appears to be gifted in the college course that he's doing."

"He shows a level of maturity and responsibility, has got his first tenancy and is coping well with that."

As a direct alternative to a custodial sentence, Sheriff Lindsay Kooner ordered the youth to complete 120 hours of unpaid work within six months and placed him under supervision for 12 months.