A WORKS night out ended painfully for a man who was randomly attacked by a thug as he stood with friends in a Carlisle pub.

Victim Peter Bell was left covered in blood after he was targeted in the unprovoked attack at the city’s Border Rambler pub on December 22 last year, Carlisle’s Rickergate Magistrates’ Court heard.

Callum Paul Kelso, 26, admitted an assault by beating.

Pam Ward, prosecuting, said that Mr Bell had been enjoying a works Christmas party at the Botchergate pub, standing near to the bar and talking to three of his colleagues.

“The next thing I knew I was on the floor,” he said.

He did not see who had attacked him and had no idea why he was hit. Afterwards, a bouncer approached him and said: “It’s okay: we’ve got him. He’s in the pub over the road.”

The victim added: “It was totally unprovoked.

“I was covered in blood, all over my shirt. I thought my nose was broken. It wasn’t but it was incredibly painful.” He said one moment he was standing with friends, and the next he was on the floor. He suffered bruising and swelling.

Mrs Ward said CCTV images of the attack showed clearly how the defendant, of Whinsmoor Drive, Harraby, Carlisle, had punched his victim once, knocking him to the ground.

Kelso followed this up by kicking Mr Bell in the face with "extreme force", said Mrs Ward. There was nothing to show that the victim had done anything wrong and the attacked appeared wholly unprovoked.

Anthony Wilson, for Kelso, said that before he was interviewed by the police the defendant said he hoped Mr Bell was okay.

Kelso was distraught over what he had done, said he lawyer. Mr Wilson said: “He bitterly regrets it and offers a sincere apology to the victim. He’s very lucky he didn’t break his nose.

“If he had, he might have been charged with a different offence at the crown court and staring down the barrel.”

Mr Wilson said that after the assault, one of the victim’s friends had jumped on top of the defendant and punched him 10 or 20 times. The lawyer added of the offence: “It’s out of character.”

District Judge Gerald Chalk told Kelso: “Although you have a record, it’s not for similar matters. If it was, you may well have been going to prison today.

“You have assaulted someone seriously in a public house.”

That being the case, there was potential for other people to get involved, as happened and as people lose their inhibitions violence can spread. The judge added: “You kicked him once, and once you use a weapon equivalent and kick someone you potentially cause very serious harm. It can result in a fatality.” He imposed a 12-month community order, with 140 hours unpaid work, £200 compensation, £85 costs and a £90 victim surcharge.