A THUG who beat a man in the street in front of horrified children has been jailed.
Joel Taylor, 22, of Amberbanks Grove, South Shore, repeatedly punched his victim and stamped on his head in a shocking attack which a judge said “could have easily killed” him.
Preston Crown Court heard Taylor’s victim, who he had known since he was four-years-old, had confronted the defendant over his alleged loutish behaviour on Overdale Grove, Grange Park.
He punched his victim, who then hit his head on a concrete post. As he lay unconscious on the ground, Taylor threw more punches and stamped on his head.
One witness described the scene as the most horrific thing she had seen in her life.
As a result of the attack, the victim suffered a fracture where a cheekbone became completely detached. He needed an operation to correct breathing problems in his nose and also had a blood clot in his eye.
Taylor had previously pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent and was jailed for seven years and eight months yesterday.
The court was told the men came face to face during the confrontation on May 25 after the defendant had allegedly been offensive, threatening and loutish towards some women.
Geoff Whelan, prosecuting, gave details of a statement the victim had handed to police.
He said: “He can’t believe the defendant did this to him.
“He has known him since the defendant was four years of age. He has always got on with him in the past.”
The court heard the victim has suffered nightmares since the assault.
Judith McCullough, defending, said the offence had been out of character.
She said: “The incident earlier that night had been unpleasant, but largely described as hot air.”
Taylor had walked away and the incident was completely over when the other man arrived on the scene.
She added: “The simple fact is it was unfortunately as a result of the complainant being brought to the scene that the incident happened. I submit there was a degree of provocation.
“The defendant’s remorse is real and palpable.
“What happened was a moment of madness, a decision taken in the heat of the moment where he destroyed all he was working for.”
Judge Graham Knowles told Taylor: “Any one of the things that happened to this man at your hands can be enough to kill.
“You could easily have put this man in a coma. You could easily have killed this man.”
Taylor’s overall sentence included six months which was activated from a suspended sentence in force at the time for burglary with intent to commit damage.