A MAN lashed out when he had a chance meeting with an alleged “school bully” from his past.
Preston Crown Court was told how Paul Eddleston then stamped on his victim twice when he was on the ground.
The man received multiple fractures to his face during the incident outside Revolution on Market Street, Blackpool.
He escaped being sent to jail “by the skin of his teeth” by a judge who told him: “You could have killed this man. Consider yourself lucky you are able to walk the streets.”
Eddleston, 23, of Mere Road, Blackpool, admitted unlawful wounding but claimed the victim had been violent towards him first.
The court was told the injured man had gone on to swear at a policeman who tried to help him and had treated with contempt anyone who had tried to help him in the aftermath.
Martine Snowdon, prosecuting, said a door supervisor at the bar had seen Eddleston push the other man, causing him to fall to the ground. He then stamped on his head twice.
The victim later underwent surgery to have metal plates and screws inserted in his upper and lower jaws. His teeth were fixed back into position.
Janet Ironfield, defending, claimed the man had previously been a “school bully”, towards Eddleston and others during his school years.
Her client had come across the victim by chance in the bar.
She said: “He became increasingly verbally abusive and then physically aggressive to the defendant, calling him stupid and using other words.
“He punched the defendant twice to the face and got him in a headlock, holding him tightly so he struggled to get free.
“At that point my client pushed him away.
“He came back towards the defendant who punched him, perceiving a further threat. Up to that point the defendant had not acted unlawfully.”
The barrister said Eddleston then stamped on him in the heat of the moment.
She added: “He’s remorseful for what he has done.
“He has spent some time thinking of how he might have avoided the situation or dealt with it differently.”
Miss Ironfield added that Eddleston’s family had been subjected to malicious phone calls and other incidents since that night.
Eddleston was given 12 months’ prison, suspended for two years, with a three-month curfew to run from 10pm to 4am each night.
The judge, Recorder Anthony Cross QC, told Eddleston that the justice of the case could be met by passing a suspended prison sentence.
The defendant worked full time, was a voluntary helper for underprivileged children and was an informal carer as well.
He said: “Your character is in marked contradiction to the character of your victim.”