A MAN was left eating out of a straw for weeks after being attacked with a single punch that broke his jaw.

Leonard Joseph was out with friends in West Street, Brighton, when things became abusive between his group and another group.

After trying to move his girlfriend away, he was punched in the face by John Stanley, who was out with his friends.

It left Mr Joseph needing his jaw to be stapled, and he said he was in “excruciating pain”.

At Brighton Magistrates’ Court Stanley admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent.

Suzanne Soros, prosecuting, told the court the incident happened in West Street in June this year.

She said Stanley was accused of putting his hands towards another woman’s face, causing her to react.

Mr Joseph’s girlfriend then reportedly confronted Stanley over the incident, prompting Mr Joseph to hold her back and move her away.

But he was punched in the face, leaving him reeling.

He said: “The pain at the time was excruciating. I was off work for a week, and not able to eat solids for six weeks.

“The incident has affected my whole life. I have to think twice about going out to Brighton, and my family were very upset.

“Doctors told me the damage could have damaged the nerves, and I might lose the capacity to taste for the rest of my life.

“It is life-changing. I hope the person who inflicted this on me will be held accountable for his actions.”

Ed Fish, defending, told the court that Stanley, of Chafford Hundred, Grays, in Essex, was “sorry” about the attack.

He said it was “out of character for Stanley, who has no previous convictions.

The 31-year-old works as a self-employed electrician, and had been out with his friends in West Street, moving from bar to bar.

Mr Fish said it was not his client who had started the confrontation, but threw a single punch during the incident.

At the police station he apologised for the attack, and admitted his guilt at the first opportunity in court this week.

Mr Fish suggested the harm caused was at the lower end of the category, that could be punished with a six-month suspended sentence or unpaid community service.

Suzanne Soros said the harm was in a higher category that meant only the Crown Court could decide.

Magistrate Peter Sutton said: “We have carefully considered the circumstances of this case and we agree that we do not have sufficient powers to manage this.”

A pre sentence report with the probation service was ordered

The attack follows Judge Jeremy Gold QC’s recent comments about how he is fed up with violence among young men in the city.

In a case of a teenager who had launched a “misguided attempt to defend a girl’s honour”, leaving a victim with a broken eye socket.

The judge said: “I am thoroughly fed up with youngsters who have had too much to drink and get involved in petty disputes, then get into fights and cause chaos on the streets of Brighton.”

Dr Sutton said the case would be sent to the Crown Court on January 9, and granted Stanley bail.