A DRINKER who hit a man with a brandy bottle in a cowardly attack following an organised pub crawl has been spared jail.

Jake Tunmore was on the Stratton Stroll last year when he launched the brutal assault on the man when he was on the ground.

But after hearing the 24-year-old was sorry for what he had done and had saved from his earnings to compensate his victim a judge imposed a suspended sentence.

Rob Welling, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court that the defendant had been on the pub crawl with other friends.

In the evening he was in the Rat Trap pub, the final stop, when he became involved in a heated discussion with a woman in the pub garden.

Mr Welling said he took her to task about not being as friendly with his girlfriend as she had in the past. That led insults being traded and others joining in.

The victim described Tunmore as being aggressive and looking for trouble, he said.

While some witnesses said he charged at the man others said he walked. But the victim fell, either from someone tripping or rugby tackling him, leaving him on all fours.

“Whereupon the defendant strikes him on the head with what is described as a Courvoisier bottle,” Mr Welling said.

As a result of the attack the man needed six staples in a wound to his head and also suffered another cut near his right ear, indicating two blows.

Tunmore fled the scene and stopped a police car to tell them there had been an incident at the Rat Trap and he was running for his life. But when officers got to the pub they found out it was him they needed to look for and arrested him from his home later that night.

When he was questioned he claimed he had been the victim of the aggression and he had not struck anyone with a bottle.

But fragments of glass from the broken bottle were found on his clothing, which proved he was close to it when it was smashed, said Mr Welling.

Tunmore, of Forsey Close, Covingham, denied wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. But on the day of trial he admitted unlawful wounding.

In an oral report probation officer Karen Fowler said he insisted to her that he could not recall the incident, but accepted he must have done it.

Ellen McAnaw, defending, said Tunmore ran his own business as a carpet fitter, the court heard, and had about £1,700 saved which could be used a s compensation.

Passing sentence Judge Robert Pawson said “You hit him when he was on the ground and it was cowardly.”

He imposed an 18-month jail term suspended for two years. Tunmore must also pay £2,000 compensation, £500 costs and do 250 hour of unpaid work.