The 56-year-old man who was unconscious for four days after being assaulted by a 12-year-old boy and an accomplice, told yesterday how he was technically dead for 10 minutes as a result of the attack.

READ THE FULL STORY: Reading teenagers spared jail after Whitley attack on middle aged cyclist

Richard Smart, an appliance specialist at Curry's PC World, added that he believed parents were now too frightened to discipline their children for fear of being reported to social services or the police.

Speaking of the day he was attacked, he said: “The boys were trying to steal my bicycle.

"The little 15-year-old said it was his bicycle.

"I told him, ‘you’re not having my bike’.

"That is when it started. I didn’t pick up my mountain bike to defend myself, I picked it up to go home.

"I was clinically dead for 10 minutes, some parts of my brain died.

"A member of the public tried to save me until the paramedic helicopter arrived and brought me back to life and took me to hospital.

"My memory is absolutely shot to pieces.

"I think about saying something to my partner and as soon as I go to open my mouth, it's gone. It may never return."

The victim said that his employers at Curry’s PC World were beginning to lose patience with the mistakes he had started making since suffering his traumatic injuries and he felt he may have to move to work on the tills.

Mr Smart, who used to live in Skylings, Newbury, before he moved to Whitley, Reading, five years ago, expressed his dismay when he learned that one of his assailants had been just 12 years old.

Speaking of the boy, he said: "He's a menace to society, that's what I'd describe him as.

Mr Smart expressed his wish to speak to the younger boy, but added that he knew the 15-year-old and had tried to speak to him but it was a “waste of time”.

He added: “I have known him since I moved to Whitley five years ago."

Despite what he had suffered, Mr Smart praised Judge Burgess' decision during the sentencing hearing in court, saying he knew that custody would have had a corrupting influence on his young assailant.

Mr Smart said: "I do not think custody would have done him any good, instead it would have taught him worse habits.

"When I was a child, we had slaps, but you’re not allowed to do that to children anymore.

“The amount of parents who are too scared to chastise their children because of social services is incredible.

"If you raise a hand to a child, he’ll tell you he will call social services.

"Society shouldn’t be like that.

"I'm not scared of going out.

"The good thing about the human body is it repairs itself - it’s pretty tough.

"My attitude from when I was a child is, if you knock me down, you better make sure I stay down!"