Jail for former boxer who assaulted party-goer
Allan North saw red when a man who had earlier played with the trilby hat he was wearing came over to apologise.
But instead of accepting what he said the burly 42-year-old, who has trained as a boxer in the past, repeatedly punched him then put the boot in when he was down.
As a result of the brutal attack the victim was hospitalised for a week with a permanently damaged kidney which could have killed him.
And he will also only have 30 percent function in the organ, which medics will have to keep an eye on, for the rest of his life.
Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how the victim had gone to The Bear in Marlborough on Friday, July 25 last year to celebrate a friend's birthday.
North was also there, at an engagement party, and during the evening she said a number of people, including the victim, had jokingly touched the hat.
Miss Hingston said Claire Price was chatting with the defendant and said a number of people had removed the hat during the evening and he played along with the joke.
But he started to get angry when the victim came over to apologise in the early hours of the morning and she said he turned, like 'Jekyll and Hyde'.
Miss Price tried to pull him back as he first punched the slight man with such force that it sent him falling on to a flight of stairs behind him.
After landing more punches he then kicked him repeatedly while he was on the floor in what she called a 'completely unprovoked attack'.
Miss Hingston said the victim first went to hospital where he was treated for facial wounds but the internal injuries were misses.
When he returned they found he had suffered hemorrhagic shock to his left kidney, which was continuing to bleed, and damage to his pancreas.
He had to undergo an emergency operation to stop the bleeding from the life threatening injury and had to have a number of blood transfusions.
After being kept in hospital he had further operations and his kidney function will have to be monitored for the rest of his life.
When he was questioned he told the police 'I saw red' launching the attack as the man approached having earlier taken off his hat.
He accepted punching him a number of times, saying he had trained as a boxer in the past, before kicking him more than once.
North, of Orchard Road, Marlborough, pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm.
Tony Bignall, defending, said his client lived in a two bed housing association house with his 14-year-old daughter, for whom he is the primary carer.
He said he was very sorry for what he had done and 'just snapped' when he misread the victim coming to apologise to him.
Jailing him Recorder Patrick Clarkson QC said "I consider it unprovoked and the evidence is such that all he was doing was coming to you to apologise.
"Miss Price tried to stop you, tried to pull you away, but you went in and you were a 'Jekyll and Hyde', which is what she describes you as performing."