A Mount Warrigal man who broke a pool cue over the head of a patron at an Oak Flats pub has escaped a jail sentence after convincing a magistrate he was a changed man.
Myles Morgan Southern, 23, had drunk up to 12 beers when he got into a dispute with another man at the Lakeview Hotel on June 27 last year over the ownership of a beer that had been left on a table.
Grainy CCTV footage captured the brief exchange of words, including the moment the victim got to his feet to approach Southern.
Seconds later the man was knocked out by a single blow to the head with a pool cue, wielded by Southern.
The force of the blow was so strong the pool cue broke in two and the man dropped to the ground, where he lay unresponsive for the duration of the footage.
The victim, who was intoxicated at the time, has suffered from memory loss, occasional blurred vision and restricted jaw movement since the attack.
Southern pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, claiming he had acted in self defence, fearing the drunk patron was going to "glass" him with the schooner in his hand.
However, Magistrate Susan McGowan found him guilty of the offence at a hearing in February.
Facing court for sentencing on Monday, Southern said through his lawyer he had moved out of the area in a bid to sever ties with old associates who were a bad influence on him.
He said he had significantly reduced his alcohol consumption since the incident, and had gained full-time employment as a bricklayer in Sydney.
Magistrate McGowan commended Southern for his commitment to his own rehabilitation and ordered him to perform 100 hours of community service.