A drunken man “looked like a gunslinger waiting to draw his weapon” just before smashing a bottle over someone’s head outside a Mansfield pub, a court heard.
Conor Brydon assaulted Robert Woodcock just after closing time, at about 2.30 am, as customers were leaving the Stag And Pheasant on Clumber Street.
CCTV footage, which was played to Nottingham Crown Court, showed how the 23-year-old Brydon came out of the pub with his hand in his back pocket before producing the bottle to hit the bespectacled Mr Woodcock.
He pleaded guilty to assault, causing actual bodily harm, and was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.
He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work in the community and pay compensation of £500 to his victim, who sustained several lacerations to his head and cheek and also had his glasses broken.
The judge, Recorder Simon King, told Brydon: “Your behaviour was unpleasant, thoroughly disreputable and downright dangerous.
“It is entirely fortunate for you that Mr Woodcock was not more seriously injured. Thankfully, his injuries were relatively modest, although extremely upsetting and distressing.”
The court was told that the attack happened after “an altercation between two groups of men inside the pub”.
Gareth Gimson, prosecuting, said: “It was not an instant decision to attack Mr Woodcock. He was lying in wait to do so.
“Since the assault, Mr Woodcock has been worried about going out and has avoided the town centre. He has had trouble sleeping.”
However, Chris Brewin, mitigating, insisted Brydon had no intention to get involved in any trouble. Instead he had left the pub with a bottled drink to “take to his next port of call, not to carry out an assault”.
“He saw a man he was with being grabbed, and reacted instantaneously, without thought,” said Mr Brewin.
Brydon accepted he was drunk, but was so shocked by his lack of self-control that he had since sought counselling.
He had also found a new job from employers who praised his positive, personal qualities.
The judge read a pre-sentence report, prepared by probation officers, and also heard Mr Brewin read a letter from Brydon’s Manchester-based mother.
She said the offence was “totally out of character” and was convinced it stemmed from her son’s failure to cope with the fact that she was suffering from cancer for a second time.
“He is angry and frustrated at the way I am,” Brydon’s mum wrote. “The pressure of what is going on in my life took its toll and he self-destructed.
“He has anger issues and he admitted that he took drugs, as well as alcohol, that night.
“But he has taken my cancer so hard. He was travelling back and forth from Manchester to care for me.
“He has had a good, stable upbringing. He is a decent person who just had a moment of madness.”
The judge acknowledged all the mitigation put forward on Brydon’s behalf, but added: “Just think how much worse you have made things for your mum. You should start conducting yourself in a way that doesn’t leave her worrying more than she has to.”