A MAN who hit another man so hard he fractured his skull and left him in a coma has been spared jail.
Craig Harrison, 25, punched Keith Walker outside the Buffalo take-away on Kirkby Road, Hemsworth, on June 25.
Mr Walker was left in a coma with a fractured skull and bleeding to the brain after the attack.
Harrison appeared before Pontefract Magistraites’ Court on Monday.
Prosecuting, Diane Gomersall, said: “Without provocation and with no apparent reason the defendant punched the victim to the head causing him to bang his head on the ground.
“The defendant made off from the scene and then rang the owner of the take-away asking not to give his name to the police.”
Harrison, of Grove Lane, Hemsworth, had pleaded guilty to a charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent at a hearing earlier this month.
Mrs Gomersall told Pontefract Magistrates that he admitted ringing the shop to ask how Mr Walker was afterwards but could not recall telling the owner not to identify him to the police.
She said: “The complainant is still under the care of the hospital after release and they can give no indication as to whether he will or will not fully recover.
“This has had a major effect on his life and well being. He can’t leave the house unaided and has to be cared for by his parents.”
Defending, David Tyrer, said that Harrison had been drinking and was unable to recall the exact reason why the incident had happened but added that he had acted in self-defence.
Mr Tyrer said: “He accepts that is contrary to the witnesses accounts and accepts that because he had consumed drink that their accounts would be preferred to his own.
“But it goes without saying that there was no intention by Mr Harrison to inflict the degree of harm on the defendant that he suffered or indeed any harm at all.”
He added: “He is besides himself with worry because here is a man with no previous convictions but finds himself here with the very serious risk of imprisonment.
Harrison was given a six-month suspended sentence and a six-month curfew order.
Magistrate Bill Clift, presiding, said: “It was a very stupid thing to do and we have given you the benefit of doubt.
“I hope you realise how lucky you have been.”
Harrison was also ordered pay Mr Walker £1,000 in compensation.