A MAN was left in intensive care when derby day violence flared at a village pub.
Philip Crisp was knocked unconscious and repeatedly punched on the ground outside the Wessington in Donwell, Washington, by 24-year-old Mark Francis.
Newcastle Crown Court heard Mr Crisp started having a fit as he lay injured and was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary.
He spent four nights in hospital and needed a head scan but is expected to make a full recovery.
Prosecutor Emma Dowling told the court the pub had been packed that day after Sunderland beat rivals Newcastle United 3-0 and a darts competition was being held.
The two men had been seen exchanging words inside the bar and the trouble continued when they saw each other again outside.
The violence that then flared was captured on CCTV.
Prosecutor Emma Dowling told the court: “The complainant was on the floor and the defendant is seen to punch him a number of times.”
The court heard an off-duty police officer had been in the bar and was able to help the victim until the emergency services got there.
Miss Dowling added: “The complainant himself says he is anticipating making a full recovery.
“As far as the incident itself, he cannot remember anything about it.
“He said ‘the assault does not stop me going out, I have no concerns that way’.”
Francis, of Coach Road Estate, Usworth, Washington, admitted assault.
Judge Roger Thorn QC sentenced him to eight months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with a three month night time curfew and 80 hours unpaid work.
The judge said Francis is a ordinarily a person of “substantially good character” and a decent member of the community whose behaviour that night was “appalling and outrageous”.
Judge Thorn added: “Your victim appeared to be prepared to square up with you and have a fight among the crowd of onlookers.
“You, half the age of your victim, fell him to the ground and rendered him unconscious, helpless and prone and proceeded to land several blows.”