AN engineer was provoked to violence after a friend demanded he take part in a 'juvenile' drinking game during a Christmas party at a Stonehouse sports and social club, a judge heard.

Dad of two Harris lashed out angrily at Jake Roberts, leaving him with a £5,000 dental bill, Gloucester Crown Court was told on Thursday, August 21.

Ashamed Thomas Harris, 25, of Rylands road, Stonehouse, admitted unlawfully wounding Mr Roberts causing him grievous bodily harm on Monday, December 23 last year at the Magpies club.

He was sentenced to 18 months jail suspended for two years and placed under supervision for a year.

Recorder Nicholas Atkinson QC also ordered him to pay £5,000 compensation to Mr Roberts at the rate of £100 a month for a dental bill of £5,243.

Prosecutor Richard Posner said that on the night of the attack Harris was reluctant to take part in a drinking game and showed signs of aggression to Mr Roberts, who was encouraging him to join in.

Mr Posner said others persuaded Harris to apologise and he shook hands with Mr Roberts. But later, in the skittle alley, it was clear Harris still had some animosity towards Mr Roberts.

The court heard that there was an unprovoked attack as Harris punched Mr Roberts hard on the left side of the jaw, very aggressively.

Due to the force of the punch it knocked Mr Roberts off his feet, who fell into a wall and hit his head. His two front teeth were hanging out of his mouth and he was bleeding heavily, once Harris saw what he had done he ran away.

Nicola Colwill, defending, said: "He has never for one second tried to excuse his behaviour that night. It was a most unfortunate incident. Everyone had had far too much to drink.

"Some people were behaving in a rather juvenile way and encouraging others to engage in rather dangerous and foolish drinking games. My client was irked by Mr Roberts' behaviour. Mr Roberts was behaving irresponsibly and my client had had enough of it.

"After hitting Mr Roberts he was immediately remorseful, saying 'what have I done?'