A DRUNKEN yob who broke a vulnerable man’s jaw with an unprovoked punch has avoided jail.

Mitchell Sullivan was described as agitated and showing off when he was asked to leave Harwich and Parkeston Football Club in Main Road, Dovercourt, when bar staff said it was closing time.

Sullivan, 21, motioned to leave but then ran at a complete stranger and punched him to the floor with what a witness said was a “haymaker using as much force as possible”.

The victim, who suffers from Crohn’s disease and rarely goes out, was sent sprawling to the ground and knocked unconscious.

Sullivan admitted grievous bodily harm in relation to the incident in June last year.

During a sentencing hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court, he produced an apology letter to the victim asking for the matter to be put behind them and explaining how sorry he was.

Sasha Bailey, mitigating, said he had grown up significantly in the last year and would lose his job if he went to prison.

“He has genuine remorse for his behaviour on that night,” she said.

“Lockdown has taught him there is no need to go out and drink.

“He feels better waking up on a Saturday morning with a clear head than what he was feeling before.

“He is ashamed by his actions that night.”

Judge Timothy Walker suspended his nine-month jail sentence for two years.

He must complete 20 rehabilitation days and 100 hours of unpaid work.

Sullivan, of St Edmund’s Close, Dovercourt, must also pay £500 compensation to the victim.

He is banned from contacting the victim and going to the football club for five years.

Judge Walker said: “This is a serious assault.

“You broke a vulnerable man’s jaw.

“He found it very difficult to go out before this and now doesn’t go out at all.

“He rarely goes out, but was actually having a relatively pleasant evening on that occasion until you intervened.

“He had his anxieties before but you have made it so much worse for him.”