A man was kicked so hard he was left with a vivid shoe print on his face.

John Alderton was punched to the ground and repeatedly kicked after he told two men he had not got 40p for a phone call.

Mr Alderton’s glasses were knocked off as he was attacked by Sam Lee and Nathan Lane in Ditchling Road, Brighton, on January 10.

Hove Crown Court was told that Lee callously stamped on the spectacles as he pleaded for them to be given back to him.

Lee, 22, of Ditchling Road, Brighton, and Lane, 19, of Sutton Close, Woodingdean, both admitted theft and causing actual bodily harm.

Richard Elliott, prosecuting, said: “They approached Mr Alderton in Ditchling Road and asked him for 40p to make a phone call.

“When he said he did not have any money Lee kicked and punched him several times knocking him to the ground.

“He was assaulted by both men as he lay on the ground and was kicked and punched in the face and head.

“His injuries included the imprint of a trainer on his face as well as scratches and bumps.”

Mr Alderton's mobile phone fell from his pocket during the attack and was picked up by Lee who later gave it to Lane.

Tony Loder, defending Lee, said: “He is full of remorse for what he did and accepts his behaviour was totally out of order.

“He was remanded in custody as a result of the offence and has been working hard in prison in an effort to put this behind him.

“He has been accepted as a listener with the Samaritans and is helping other young prisoners with their problems.”

Richard Barton, defending Lane, said: “This is not a violent young man but he accepts joining in the attack after it had started.

“This is his first conviction and he pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.”

Judge Richard Hayward told Lee: “You have had problems in your life but that cannot be an excuse for gratuitous violence on a total stranger.

“Mr Alderton was left with the imprint of your trainer on his face and he was shocked and distressed by what happened to him.

“Only a prison sentence is appropriate to punish you, to mark public disapproval of those who use such violence and to try to deter others.”

Lee, who has previous convictions, was jailed for 18 months and Lane was given a 52-week prison sentence suspended for two years.