A FORMER businessman from Redruth went "beyond the pale" when he kicked a man in the head as his victim was lying defenceless on the ground.
William Pearce, aged 22, of Loscombe Road, kicked Elliott Harris on October 4 last year during an incident outside the town's Twilight nightclub.
At Truro Crown Court he admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and was jailed for six months.
Philip Lee, for the prosecution, said: "Witnesses described the defendant as being loud and boisterous, [making] comments such as 'Come on; I can take on anyone'. Mr Harris exchanged words with him and they ended up fighting."
Mr Harris was looking for his T-shirt, which had come off in the scuffle, when Pearce struck him on the head, causing him to fall to the ground.
Mr Lee said Pearce then kicked Mr Harris in the head, in a way described by one witness as being like kicking a rugby ball, leaving him with a 1cm cut near his left eye, which was swollen shut.
He also had broken teeth and facial swelling and bruising.
The court heard Pearce had previous convictions for battery and assaulting a police constable.
Robin Smith, for the defence, said 2013 had not been a good year for his client.
He told the court that in the space of a few months Pearce's exterior cleaning business had fallen apart, his relationship had ended and his mother had fallen ill.
However, he had since found a new job with a company which made parts for yachts.
Jailing Pearce, Judge Christopher Harvey Clark QC said: "I want the message to go out loud and clear from this court that, save in exceptional circumstances, anyone who kicks another person on the ground in the head faces immediate custody.
"Kicking the head of another person when that person is defenceless on the ground is quite simply beyond the pale."
Pearce was also ordered to pay an £80 victim surcharge.