A groom on his stag night in Watford knocked out a man who had asked for a light.
Camal French, now 32, and his friends had left Diamonds and Strings night club after trouble broke out.
Prosecutor George Heimler told St Albans Crown Court on Friday that French, from Stanmore, and his friends walked towards the High Street when they encountered the victim, his brother and a friend.
“The complainant asked for a light. He did nothing to provoke the situation.
“He walked on, but French ran across the road at speed and, without warning, punched him in the face. He was unconscious for a couple of minutes and suffered a split lip, swollen left eye, swelling on his nose and under his chin,” said Mr Heimler.
The victim has made a full recovery since the attack on 31 March last year, but was now more apprehensive about going out at night.
After throwing the punch, French smashed a window in Marks and Spencer.
French of Woodfield Court, Honeypot Lane, Stanmore appear for sentence having pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm and criminal damage.
He was in breach of a 16-week sentence imposed by North West London Magistrates’ Court on 31.8.17 for driving while disqualified, having no insurance and possessing cocaine.
Defending, Mark Kimsey said: “This was meant to be a night of celebration with close friends. His wedding anniversary is coming up on Monday. His wife is at the back of the court and she has strong views about his behaviour.”
He said French, who has now stopped drinking, had very little recollection of what happened.
Since getting married he had held down two jobs, one at Ladbrokes and the other as a trainee electrician.
“He was shocked and ashamed when he watched the CCTV. He accepts what he did and says something must have been said. He is aware of the dangers of punching someone and has written a letter apologising. If he could wind the clock back he would,” said Mr Kimsey.
Judge Michael Simon said: “The victim, his brother and their friend were going about their lawful business. What was supposed to be a night of celebration for you turned into a nightmare for him.
“He was punched sufficiently strongly to be floored and unconscious.”
The judge passed an 8 month jail sentence suspended for 18 months. French must attend 19 sessions of a Thinking Skills Programme and 10 days’ rehabilitation activity requirement. In addition he must complete 150 hours’ unpaid work.
He was fined £500 for breaching the suspended sentence, ordered to pay the victim £500 compensation, £269.20 to Marks and Spencer for the broken window and £250 prosecution costs.
The judge told French he could have sent him to prison saying: “I am giving you this chance. Don’t mess it up.”
French replied: “Thank you.”