A drunken yob who broke a man’s jaw with a single punch has been warned: “there is a prison cell with your name on it.”
But Judge Pamela Badley, sentencing, gave Daryl Smith, 30, a final chance after reading letters and testimonials to his character.
Preston Crown Court watched CCTV which showed Smith, of Dawson Walk, Preston, dancing in The Assembly nightclub in Lune Street.
The court heard a man had bumped into Smith and his friends on teh dancefloor and had immediately apologised. Minutes later, Smith punched Phillip Palmer in the face.
But when Mr Palmer asked Smith why he had hit him, Smith replied: “Sorry, I thought you were someone else.”
Mr Palmer left the club, telling doormen what had happened before taking as minicab home.
His mouth was bleeding profusely and when he attended hospital X-rays showed his jaw was fractured in two places. He lost three teeth and had to have surgery to insert a metal plate into his face.
Following the attack Mr Palmer, who is self employed, was unable to talk or eat and had to take a month off work.
However Smith was decribed as a “family man” who provides for his 11-year-old daughter and is expecting another baby with his partner.
Daniel Prowse, defending, said Smith was “disgusted” by his behaviour and extremely sorry and remorseful.
Judge Badley handed Smith an 18 month sentence suspended for 12 months, with 120 hours unpaid work, telling him: “Sometimes one-punch incidents can result in worse injuries. Sometime death can be the result. “That one punch is a matter of chance whether it results in someone’s death.”