A bouncer who knocked a patron unconscious at a Wollongong pub will be made to perform unpaid community service work as punishment.
James Wilkinson, 21, was working night shift at the Grand Hotel on January 16 this year monitoring crowd behaviour on the upper outdoor dance area when the victim began dancing with four friends just after 9.30pm.
At one stage, one of the victim's female friends jumped on his back in "piggy-back" fashion as they danced.
Wilkinson immediately approached the group, prompting the woman to climb down from the man's back.
The accused's actions were above what would be deemed self-defence.
The victim held out his hand to Wilkinson to apologise and touched him, prompting Wilkinson to push him away and say "don't touch me".
The victim remained close to Wilkinson, still reaching out to touch him.
Wilkinson then punched the victim three times in the head with a clenched, sending him sprawling to the ground.
The victim hit his head on the concrete as he fell and immediately lost consciousness.
As he lay on the floor motionless, Wilkinson moved around behind the victim, clearing other patrons from the immediate area and lifting him into a sitting position, supporting the victim's back with his knees.
Wilkinson put the man in the recovery position and called for assistance from other staff.
The victim regained consciousness a few minutes later and was helped outside, where his friends phoned police to report the matter.
Officers formally interviewed Wilkinson three days later after viewing CCTV footage of the incident.
Wilkinson told detectives the victim had verbally threatened him and he'd acted in self defence and out of fear for his own safety when he lashed out at him.
He claimed the man was displaying aggressive behaviour towards him before the punch and that this interaction had lasted about 30 seconds, despite CCTV footage showing the entire incident - from first approach to assault - lasted just six seconds.
Several witnesses also negated Wilkinson's version of events, saying there was no reason for him to attack the victim.
"The accused's actions were above what would be deemed self defence," police said.
The assault left the victim with scratches, bruising and a 4cm cut under his chin which requiring gluing.
Wilkinson was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, to which he pleaded guilty in Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday.
Magistrate Roger Clisdell sentenced Wilkinson to an 18-month community corrections order, with 100 hours of community service work.