TWO young men have been sentenced over a "cowardly display of gratuitous violence" which left Tiaro tradesman Shane Millington and his loved ones scarred for life.
The Hervey Bay District Court heard Mr Millington, 38, was celebrating with friends at their daughter's 18th birthday in Point Vernon when troubled 21-year-old Clayton Jones took offence to a comment made about his unemployment.
Crown Prosecutor Dzenita Balic said Jones was heard telling partygoers he wanted to hit Mr Millington and soon followed through, attacking him from behind as he left the party and delivering up to 20 blows.
She said 17-year-old Mathew Coombes then jumped in, kicking Millington in the ribs and stomach.
The two were eventually pulled off but Coombes tripped Millington once again and the pair kicked him up to 15 times.
Ms Balic said "however brave they thought they were, they were kicking a man when he was down" and left him looking a "scary sight" with his face "completely covered in blood" and fractures to his cheek, nose and eye socket.
An impact statement from Mr Millington's ex-partner described how the man she had loved had "never been the same" after the attack which had led to the destruction of the relationship as well as a hefty medical bill.
Ms Balic said Mr Millington was fearful of going out in public and had not been able to work for several months.
Jones' defence barrister Scott Thackeray said unemployment was a "sore point" for his client, who had lost his mother to cancer at a young age, was raised by an alcoholic father, suffered and had once gone as far as selling Avon to earn a living.
But Judge David Reid found that while the jibe may have been "unwise", the "pathetic" attack was not provoked.
He found Jones' involvement was more serious because of the element of premeditation and sentenced him to two years jail with parole after six months.
Coombes was sentenced to 18 months with immediate parole and warned any further offending would land him in jail.