A judge has criticised police for allowing a thug who hurled a brick through a lounge window, hitting a toddler in the face, to leave custody - and then sending a letter telling him to attend court months later.

Jamie Hughes, 30, of Prince Edward Avenue, Rhyl, had a “bad” record, the judge said, including a string of convictions for violence. “You are a man prone to losing your temper,” Judge Rhys Rowlands told him when he was jailed for 22 months.

Hughes admitted assault causing actual bodily harm on the 18 months old boy, damaging two windows belonging to his former partner and breaching a restraining order. “Instead of being put before the court straightaway, the police allowed him to leave the police station and sent him a postal requisition at some point,” Judge Rowlands remarked. “It doesn’t sound a very appropriate way of dealing with someone who, prima facie, is dangerous.”

He would have expected him to be charged and put before the court or at least given stringent bail conditions. The judge questioned how it would have appeared to the public if Hughes had committed further offences. “It seems quite inappropriate use of a postal requisition in this case,” Judge Rowlands declared. It was dated October 18 and the offence in June.

The toddler had been screaming and had swelling around his eye. Judge Rowlands at Caernarfon crown court accepted Hughes didn’t deliberately injure him at Colwyn Bay but added : “He knew the child was there in the house. He takes the consequences.”

The judge commented that the injury could have been “far worse.”

Defence barrister Dafydd Roberts said: "He’s extremely thankful the injury was limited to what it was. He’s ashamed of his behaviour.” There had been two “moments of madness.”

Prosecuting counsel Michael Whitty said Hughes had thrown two bricks at windows.

Following the case, North Wales police said they would await the judge’s full comments.