A MAN who caused a builder to miss months of work after punching him in the back of the head in an unprovoked attack has been spared jail.

Joseph Quinn attacked his victim after a night out in Stockton Heath two years ago.

The builder suffered a broken ankle in the incident and spent months off sick from work, but Quinn has avoided an immediate jail term for his actions.

On Friday, August 4, Liverpool Crown Court heard that Quinn had been made redundant shortly before the night out on Saturday, April 18 2015.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, the 39-year-old victim entered a taxi after being instructed to do so by a queue marshal.

As he did so, Quinn punched the self-employed builder to the back of the head, believing that he had jumped the queue.

The victim then fell and broke his ankle.

He was hospitalised and underwent surgery, spending months off work following the attack.

Quinn, of Marsh House Lane, Orford, was found guilty of grievous bodily harm following a two-day trial last month.

His barrister Sarah Griffin told the court that the 26-year-old struggles to find work due to his anxiety and ADHD, and has been unemployed since the incident.

She added that her client, who has no previous convictions, volunteers in the community at a church.

Ms Griffin said: “This incident was out of character for someone who is a decent chap.

“It was a nasty break and these are serious injuries and it’s such a nasty injury that the custodial threshold has been passed.

“But he has managed to show a level of remorse and regret for the injury that he caused, and recognises the impact it has had on the complainant, the complainant’s family and his own family."

Recorder Peter Cowan sentenced Quinn to 15 months imprisonment, suspended for two years.

Sentencing, he said: “The harm caused here was serious, although I accept that there was no premeditation to your actions.

“Behaving in this way in a crowded public place causes concern and distress, and risks the possibility of disorder breaking out on a larger scale.

“The impact on your victim’s working and family life has been serious, but you are a person of good character and you acted out of character on this occasion.

“If you commit any offence within the next two years your imprisonment will be activated in its entirety.

“I sincerely hope this is the one and final blemish on your record."

Quinn was also ordered to undergo a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 20 days, and was ordered to pay a victim surcharge.