A worried boyfriend who feared his girlfriend's ex would attack him has ended up with a criminal record for punching him.
Mathew Graffin, 20, of Abercorn Place, Blackpool, admitted causing actual bodily harm in an incident on February 16 this year at the News and Booze shop on Talbot Road in Blackpool.
Prosecuting, Peter Barr said the victim, the ex partner of Graffin's girlfriend, had started speaking to her at the shop.
As he went to walk out of the shop Graffin punched him, causing a lip injury that required five stitches.
He said: "The complainant speaks to her and as he goes to walk out of the shop he is punched once by the defendant.
"It's a single punch - it connects with the top of his lip.
"Mr Jackson recalls he tasted blood in his mouth.
"He was then taken to the Royal Preston Hospital and receives five stitches for the wound of his lip.
"He does make mention of a scar to his lip."
Defending, John Woodward explains there was a background to the offence that caused Graffin to act as he did.
He said: "The background centres around the defendant's partner, who went out with the complainant for a short period of time and then chose to go out with the defendant instead.
"That split was fairly acrimonious, and Mr Graffin began receiving threatening text messages.
"What he did on the day of this incident is see the complainant with his partner. He feared the worst because he thought the complainant was going to carry out the threats he had seen before.
"His heart began racing, his mind became slightly excited and fuddled, and he did what he did.
"He's very sorry for what he did. He's a man of god character, he's never been in trouble before.
He added: " He's a thoroughly likeable young man.
"He's deeply shamed of what he's done. Your Honour will be satisfied this is a one off and he'll never come before the courts again."
Preston Crown Court heard Graffin, who is eight weeks into a Princes' Trust course, hoped to become a fireman.
Recorder Potter, sentencing, says: "You were of previous good character, but that changed when you pleaded guilty.
"The court has seen CCTV of you striking the complainant, who had been engaged with his ex girlfriend - who is now your girlfriend.
"You struck him once as he left the store - a blow you now accept was unlawful.
"You indicated you believed you were about to be attacked but, as I say, your guilty plea means you accept you were acting unlawfully.
"You lost your mind at that moment having never committed any form of offence before.
"Your pre sentence report indicates you are a polite, caring and supportive individual who in all other circumstances treats others with respect, and you are keen to pursue a career in helping others.
"But this was an unprovoked assault upon a person who was at that stage offering no threat to yourself.
"This is for you a costly assault - please make sure it never happens again."
Graffin received 60 hours unpaid work, and must pay £535 costs.