A thug who head-butted and punched a man outside a town centre takeaway has been spared jail.
Oscar Connolly, of Willows Lane, Accrington, was caught after a witness told the victim the identity of his attacker on Facebook.
Connolly approached Ben Clifton outside a takeaway on Church Street offering to shake his hand however then pulled him towards him and head-butted him, Burnley Crown Court heard.
Mr Clifton, 20, then fell to the ground where he was punched by Connolly prompting a brawl between several people.
Accrington and Rossendale College student Connolly pleaded guilty to assault causing grievous bodily harm.
Stephen Parker, prosecuting, said Mr Clifton had been on a night out with friends in the town centre and ended up at a takeaway on Church Street.
The court heard how Mr Clifton was having ‘some banter’ with another man outside the takeaway and that ‘nothing untoward, aggressive or offensive’. occurred.
Mr Parker said Connolly later approached Mr Clifton and said ‘You are starting on my mate’ before offering to hold out his hand.
The court heard how he then pulled Mr Clifton towards him and headbutted him ‘with quite a lot of force’, causing him to stumble to the ground.
When he was on the floor Connolly punched him before other people started joining in, the court was told.
Mr Parker told the hearing how Connolly, 19, was identified by a witness who contacted Mr Clifton through facebook providing the name Oscar Connolly.
Mr Clifton was taken to hospital and was treated for a double fracture left temple bone and a perforated left ear drum following the attack.
A victim impact statement heard how he was suffering ‘nightmares’, was struggling to sleep and it had affected his grades and university attendance. He was also suffering from a lack of sense of smell and taste.
When arrested Connolly said he had a previous disagreement with Mr Clifton and was complaining about his conduct towards him on the dance floor earlier that night.
He also told police: “I didn’t mean for it to go that far. It all happened very quickly.”
Adrian Williams, defending, said: “He’s only 19. That’s still very young and he has a very limited record.
“He is not somebody who is habitually violent.
“A letter from his mother says he deserves prison for what he’s done but she won’t let him forget what he has done.”
Judge Andrew Woolman said it was a ‘disgraceful incident’ and committed him to prison for 12 months, suspended for two years with a supervision requirement and 150 hours unpaid work.