A man was left with his jaw broken in two places after he was attacked during a row at his friend’s Whitchurch home.

Carl Benbow needed plates in his jaw after he was assaulted by Brian Stockton in September, last year.

At Shrewsbury Crown Court on Monday, the 31-year-old factory worker avoided an immediate custody order after Mr Benbow indicated he did not want his friend to be jailed.

Judge Jim Tindal said: “Think yourself lucky that Mr Benbow has enough about him to recognise he can forgive you and you should be grateful.”

Stockton received a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years and must complete 100 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay Mr Benbow £100 compensation.

Stockton, of Meadow View Road, Whitchurch, initially claimed he was acting in self-defence but on the day of his trial in June he pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm.

The court heard the two men had been drinking on September 22 and had become embroiled in an argument.

Howard Searle, prosecuting, said the two men were at Stockton’s home playing video games, drinking cider and smoking cannabis.

There were no issues until 10pm, when a conversation began about a friend of Mr Benbow’s who Stockton had a grievance with.

The dispute led to a clash during which Stockton was on top of the victim punching him to the head and ribs five to six times.

Mr Searle said the victim suffered bruising to his chest but the next day went to hospital where it was discovered his jaw was broken in two places and he needed two plates fitted.

He said Mr Benbow also had some teeth removed which had yet to be replaced. He struggled to eat and had no feeling in the middle of his jaw and chin.

Paul Smith, for Stockton, said his client was trying to make use of his life and that reports suggested a suspended sentence was appropriate.