A TEENAGER who smashed the bones of another man’s face while out toasting his birthday has been put behind bars.
Andrew Stuart was told by a judge who sent him to jail: “You could easily have killed that man.”
Preston Crown Court heard that he broke the cheekbone and the floor of the eye socket of his victim by elbowing him and kicking him to the face, rendering him unconscious.
Stuart, who later described himself as 20 drunk on a scale of 1-10, thought his victim had chased him down the street in an earlier incident.
The 19-year-old of Armadale Road, Blackpool, had been committed by magistrates for sentencing at the higher court, having admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
He was jailed for 16 months.
The victim had been enjoying a night out with friends in the Galleon bar, in Blackpool when a female friend became upset.
She left the premises and he followed her to ensure she was all right.
She calmed down and the two of them were walking back to the bar when Stuart suddenly ran over, accusing him of having chased him.
The teenager struck him to the face with his elbow, which knocked him to the floor.
As the injured man tried to get up, he was kicked in the face, causing his head to snap back and he slumped unconscious to the ground.
X-rays showed fractures to the left cheekbone and the floor of an eye socket.
The victim declined further treatment as he was due to fly to Australia the next day.
Stuart told police in interview that he had been out from 2pm onwards the previous day, celebrating his birthday.
He and two friends had drunk a 48 pack of beer before he went out into Blackpool that night.
When asked to describe how drunk he was, on a scale of one to 10, he put himself as 20 out of 10 drunk.
The teenager spoke of having problems with some others in the Galleon who chased him out.
After leaving the premises he wandered the town centre before seeing the other male and attacking him, thinking he had been one of those who had chased him earlier.
He also said he was sorry and that he had not intended the injuries which resulted.
Joe Hart, defending, said that when he wasn’t drunk, Stuart worked hard and was a good citizen and son.
He told the court: “I concede this is a shameful incident which resulted in relatively serious injury. He believed the fellow he punched and then kicked on the floor had earlier chased him out of a pub.
“At the time it was very real, even if it was an imagined grievance.
“The defendant feels shame, upset and regret at what happened. When he gets drunk he does very stupid and violent things.
“He has not drunk since. He is utterly terrified about the outcome of today’s court appearance”.
Ordering him to serve 16 months, Judge Graham Knowles QC, told Stuart: “You could easily have killed that man.
“You ran off, leaving him for dead, for all you knew. He was unconscious.
“You smashed the bones of his face. These were very grave injuries indeed.”