A MAN has been jailed for four years for knocking a pub customer to the ground and stamping on his head in a grievance about the death of a relative.

Thomas Kelly, 27, of Royd Street, Wilsden, attacked his victim in the busy Wetherspoons in North Street, Keighley, on October 24 last year, Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday.

Kelly, who was sentenced on a video link to HMP Leeds, pleaded guilty to unlawfully and maliciously wounding the man with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm.

Prosecutor Jessica Heggie said the assault took place at 2pm when the pub was busy and children were present.

Kelly resented the man for a remark he made some time ago, the court was told. It followed the death of one of Kelly’s close relatives who he thought of as a brother.

Miss Heggie said Kelly sat down next to the victim, challenged him about what he had said and told him to leave.

The man was walking away when Kelly punched him and stamped on his head while he was on the ground, jumping up to land on his face.

The victim needed two operations and a metal plate was inserted into his eye socket. He was off work for seven weeks and had permanent nerve damage and blurred vision.

Kelly had previous convictions for battery, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray.

He told the court he “saw red and lost control” when the men bumped into one another.

His barrister, Catherine Silverton, conceded it was “a serious and unpleasant offence” that must result in immediate imprisonment.

She alleged that the victim had made a comment sometime previously after the death of Kelly’s family member.

Since being remanded in custody after handing himself into the police, Kelly had detoxified from alcohol and expressed his great remorse.

Recorder Simon Myerson QC said the victim had stood up to leave when Kelly knocked him to the floor and stamped on his face,

“You intended to do him really serious harm,” he said.

It was just “the luck of the draw” that the man was not more seriously hurt.

Recorder Myerson said: “It was truly frightening for members of the public to see the level of violence you inflicted.”

 But he accepted the genuine remorse Kelly had since shown.

He had been in custody for about seven months and had detoxified.

He had sought help for his problems with alcohol before the assault but had not been offered it in time to prevent him committing the offence.