An Afghani man who slapped a friend after an argument has been given a supervision order.

Witnesses said they saw Sohib Safi, 22, slapping a woman in a park near Burntwood Lane in Tooting and police were called to the scene, magistrates in Wimbledon heard.

Safi, of Hanover Park, Peckham Rye, originally denied assault by beating but later changed his plea to guilty.

Chairman of the bench Oliver Haywood heard today the pair knew each other and unemployed Safi had been overheard shouting at the woman by a team of netball players using the park nearby.

Prosecutor Trude Scott said: "The witness said children were around there looking at the couple because it was loud.

"She saw Mr Safi shouting at a lady and she sat down.

"He lifted his arm up and hit her on the face.

"She screamed and seemed quite scared."

Mr Haywood heard how the woman had a red mark to her face but refused to make any allegations against Safi.

Defending Safi, John Middlehurst said the victim’s cultural background meant she is regarded as her parents’ possession and it was up to them who she did and did not see.

Mr Middlehurst requested the court did not write to the victim to let her know the outcome of the case.

He said: "If they get a letter referring to this it will create very difficult problems for her - far worse than the problems of this case so far."

Sentencing Safi, Mr Haywood said: "You will have to be punished.

"However the reason for this order is to help you not just punishment.

"There is no compensation for the injury because we didn’t feel it was of a lasting type."

The court heard Safi had two previous convictions for affray and the possession of an offensive weapon in 2009.

He was sentenced to a 12 month supervision order and made to pay £85 in costs and £60 in a victim surcharge.

The costs were reduced from £350 because of credit given to him for admitting the offence.