A BRUTISH duo smashed a man against a bus stop in an attack of such violence it took eight metal plates to fix their victim’s shattered face.

Thugs Tee-Jay O’Hanlon and Kyle Coupe had minutes earlier bundled darts player Daryl Bayley into a side street in what prosecutors claimed was an attempted mugging.

The 52-year-old victim was punched several times by Coupe before he managed to poke his assailant in the arm with a dart and get away.

Mr Bayley was followed up Victoria Road. His attackers waited as he went into McColl's to buy cigarettes then trailed him towards Bath Road – exacting their revenge on a bus stop outside Jack’s Bistro.

Coupe, 25, struck the first blow to Mr Bayley’s back. A high kick landed on the victim’s upper arm sending him into the bus stop. Coupe struck at least two more blows.

Co-defendant O’Hanlon, 24, landed a single blow before taking a flying kick at Mr Bayley’s head. The kick was so ferocious it sent the aggressor to the ground.

O’Hanlon, tattooed with ink hearts below each eye, fished into his victim’s pockets for the darts and threw them into an alleyway. He then held the man’s head as he rained down more blows.

CCTV footage played to the court showed Mr Bayley slumped on the floor. Three young women came to his aid and called the police.

Jailing O’Hanlon to eight years and four months imprisonment and Coupe to seven years and eight months, Judge Peter Crabtree labelled the attack brutal and vicious.

Swindon Crown Court heard victim Mr Bayley had gone to The Regents pub on October 11 this year to play darts.

Coupe was also in the pub. He was suspected of having taken Mr Bayley’s tobacco, even speaking to him as he searched the area where he had been sat.

Coupe spoke to the Mr Bayley outside the pub – offering to sell him some tobacco in what prosecutor Hannah Squire suggested was a ploy to get the man to pull out his wallet.

But as Mr Bayley walked up Victoria Road Coupe and O’Hanlon followed him. They pushed him into Stanley Street, with Mr Bayley saying he had been punched in the face five or six times. He managed to flee after poking Cope in the arm with one of the darts he had taken with him to the pub.

By 8.05pm he was back on Victoria Road. He went into McColl's to buy some more tobacco.

It was suggested Coupe and O’Hanlon had waited for him, as they could be seen on CCTV trailing Mr Bayley past Jack’s bistro.

Coupe threw the first punch at around 8.10pm, with the attack lasting little more than a minute-and-a-half. Mr Bayley made no attempt to fight back.

The victim was taken first to Great Western Hospital then to the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. Scans revealed his facial bones had split from his skull and surgeons spent almost five hours fitting eight plates to fix his shattered bones.

In a victim statement, Mr Bayley said he still couldn’t remember parts of the attack: “I don’t think I would be able to cope with the effect on my mental health.”

Having struggled with poor mental health in the past, his condition had been improving. The assault had set him back again. It had left him nervous around people. Doctors said he may never regain the feeling in parts of his face.

Coupe, of Walter Close, west Swindon, and O’Hanlon, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding with intent.

Ramin Pakrooh, for Coupe, said his client was remorseful and had entered an early guilty plea.

Despite a violent past, including a jail sentence in 2016 for a shocking attack on five homeless people, he had no recent serious assault convictions. Coupe had a partner, a young child, accommodation and had been in work before he was remanded in custody.

Coupe’s remorse was called into question by Judge Crabtree, as he had told the author of a pre-sentence report that his victim had “tried to knife him”.

Emma Handslip, for O’Hanlon, told the court her client was extremely ashamed of his actions – especially as he suffered from mental health problems himself.

At the time of the assault he was homeless, unmedicated and hyper-vigilant after being stabbed in the chest over the summer.

Both men kept their heads bowed for much of the sentencing hearing.