THIS is the face of 84-year-old veteran Gordon Glynn after a ‘cowardly and unprovoked’ attack left him bleeding, bruised and needing 14 stitches.

The shocking injuries were inflicted by serving Culcheth soldier Joseph Dickinson, of Withington Avenue, who had only been home from Afghanistan for a couple of days when he hit Mr Glynn because he was angry with his dad.

Warrington Crown Court heard on Monday how Mr Glynn was enjoying a drink with friends at the Pack Horse Inn, Culcheth, a few days before Christmas last year when he was punched twice and knocked off his seat by the 21-year-old.

Dickinson fled the pub and was only tracked down by police after sending texts to a friend telling her ‘not to grass him up’.

Oliver King, prosecuting, said: “The texts said he had smacked someone and he didn’t know his name but it was either that or he smacked his dad.”

It meant two days in hospital for Mr Glynn who could not eat his Christmas dinner, wear his glasses to watch TV or read because he was in so much pain.

Dickinson, who was convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in October 2010, had the role of protecting the Queen in 2009 when he was involved with the Changing of the Guard outside Buckingham Palace.

Michael Davies, defending, said psychological reports found Dickinson had partial post-traumatic stress disorder.

He added: “He was horrified when he saw the pictures and was choking back the tears. His dad said there was a mist in his eyes and he had been a changed person since he returned from Afghanistan.”

Judge Roger Dutton said he had given him credit because he was a soldier but it was clear he had ‘difficulties controlling his temper’.

He added: “The career you have chosen exposed you to risks and danger but the severity of the attack and random nature means I can’t suspend the sentence.”

Dickinson sobbed after he was jailed for 12 months.

DC Matt Gagen said: “The people of Warrington cannot fail to be appalled by the offender’s actions, targeting a man four times his age, when he is supposed to be a disciplined member of the Armed Forces.”