A drinker who floored a man with one punch was told by a judge it could have led to a death.
The victim’s head banged against a wall outside a Ripley pub - leaving him unconscious and needing surgery on a fractured eye socket and cheekbone.
Lee Bramley, 24, was ordered to pay the man £1,500 compensation and was given a 14-month prison term, suspended for two years. He admitted grievous bodily harm on October 28.
Judge Jonathan Gosling said it often led to “tragic results” when a man is struck and his head bangs against another object as he falls.
“You could have been on the more serious charge of manslaughter,” he told Bramley of Baileybrook Drive, Langley Mill, who must attend an anger management course and pay a £100 government surcharge.
Derby Crown Court heard the incident followed an argument in the White Lion in which Bramley was heard saying: “I’ll wait for you outside.”
His victim, who had downed seven pints, ignored advice to leave by another door and was punched once in the face, said Gregor Purcell, prosecuting.
“He was left with a sunken cheek. It looked as if his face was sagging and an operation was needed to repair the damage,” added Mr Purcell.