A man who repeatedly punched and then kicked a co-worker in the head with a steel-toed boot was imprisoned Tuesday, with the judge rejecting the defence's appeal for leniency.

William George Parker, 38, was given a sentence of four years in provincial court in St. John's, following guilty pleas on charges that included aggravated assault, assault and mischief.

Parker, a resident of Holyrood, was training someone to operate heavy equipment at the Bay Bulls dump in October 2011 when a workplace dispute boiled over into a rampage.

Coworker Dilbert Forbes, 55, told Parker that he was standing in an unsafe place, but Parker ignored the warning.

When Forbes asked him to move away from the heavy equipment, Parker lost control of his emotions. Parker punched Forbes in the head several times, knocking him to the ground.

Then, Parker kicked Forbes repeatedly in the head with a steel-toed boot.

Once he cooled down, Parker helped Forbes into his truck, and then called for an ambulance.

Forbes sustained serious injuries during the episode, court was told. He suffered a stroke, and now has impaired speech and impaired cognition. He is also partially paralyzed.

The defence had argued that Parker should receive a sentence of 18 to 24 months, on grounds that the extent of Forbes's injuries was not foreseeable.

Judge David Orr rejected the defence's argument, and picked a sentence of four years, which was the maximum recommended by the Crown.

Orr gave Parker two-for-one credit for the approximately 90 days he had already served in custody.

With files from Azzo Rezori