A young Rugby man who was attacked in the street after an incident in a night club ended up turning the tables on his assailants and kicking one of them on the ground.
But Aaron Crisp escaped following his attackers to prison - after one of them spoke up for him from the dock at Warwick Crown Court.
Crisp, Barry Miller and convicted murderer Nikki Glencross had pleaded guilty at the court to a charge of affray.
Glencross, 35, of Bury Road, Leamington, who has been recalled to prison to continue serving his life sentence, and Miller, 31, of Windmill Road, Leamington, who both also admitted possessing offensive weapons, were jailed for nine months.
But Crisp’s nine-month sentence was suspended for 18 months after Miller confirmed from the dock that Crisp was not the person captured by a CCTV camera repeatedly putting the boot in as he lay on the ground.
Crisp, 22, of Whernside, Brownsover, Rugby, was also made subject to 12 months supervision and an electronically-tagged curfew from 8.30pm to 7am for four months.
Prosecutor Mark Phillips said: “In effect Glencross and Miller are on one side of a fight and Crisp in a group on the other side.”
He pointed out that Crisp had entered his plea on the basis that he had initially acted in self-defence, but had then gone beyond that by kicking Miller while he was on the ground.
The affray, which took place at around three in the morning on September 16 last year following an earlier incident in a Leamington night club, was captured by CCTV cameras.
Crisp and three friends were seen walking unsteadily up Bedford Street, followed by Miller, who had half a brick in his hand, and Glencross who then picked up a length of wood.
They caught up with the group of four in Regent Street and, clearly the aggressors at that stage, launched an attack.
But the four quickly turned the tables and Miller was knocked to the ground where one of them repeatedly kicked and stamped on him, joined by two others who also landed kicks.
“Glencross also takes quite a beating after being chased across the road and hit repeatedly while he is on the ground,” said Mr Phillips.
Witness Thomas Smith then public-spiritedly intervened to break up the incident while other people assisted Miller and Glencross as they lay injured on the pavement.
They were both taken to Warwick Hospital where Miller was ‘very unpleasant’ to the staff and refused treatment.
Crisp was also arrested not far from the scene and was found to have blood on his shoe, said Mr Phillips.
He added that Glencross had been jailed for life in Glasgow in 1995, and has now been recalled to continue serving that sentence; Miller had a number of convictions for offences including affray and disorderly behaviour; and Crisp had a conviction for a public order offence.
Judge Robert Orme said he intended to pass nine-month sentences, which lawyers for Miller and Glencross accepted.
But Andrew Wilkins, for Crisp, pointed out that he was not the person seen repeatedly stamping on Miller, but had gone over to him after that and landed one kick – which Miller, with a prison officer between him and Crisp, confirmed from the dock.
Mr Wilkins added that Crisp has been the only full-time carer for his terminally-ill grandfather for the last three years and is also the carer for his two younger brothers.
Judge Orme told Miller and Glencross: “Everything has been said about the incident that needs to be said.”
But sentencing Crisp, the judge observed: “It seems the person you kicked has forgiven you, and he wished you good fortune as he went down those steps to serve his nine months.
“You should also be serving nine months, but it seems to me there are some important distinctions in your case.”