A THUG who was given a chance to avoid jail by proving he could redeem himself punched a man in a face and broke his jaw just hours later.

Jason Booth lashed out at a man in a fast food restaurant the day after he was spared jail, Bolton Crown Court heard yesterday.

On August 16, Booth appeared before Recorder Timothy Stead to be sentenced for assault, criminal damage and breaching a previously imposed suspended sentence for dangerous driving and driving whilst banned.

The judge was impressed by his claims of finding work and tackling his alcohol problems and decided to defer sentencing him until February.

But the court heard that the next day Booth, who was celebrating retaining his freedom by getting drunk with his friends, attacked a man in McDonalds in Bolton town centre.

Joanna Rodikis, prosecuting, told the court that at 5.40pm Andrew Axon was walking towards the fast food shop when something bumped into his legs.

He turned around to see a girl on the ground with a bicycle on top of her and a group of others attending to her.

Mr Axon continued into the restaurant and was followed inside by the girl and her friends.

“The girl was angry, shouting and aggressive and demanding an apology,”

said Miss Rodikis.

She told the court that without warning, 21-yearold Booth punched Mr Axon in the jaw, fracturing it in two places and leaving his mouth bleeding.

He needed surgery to insert metal plates in his jaw and Miss Rodikis said he has been left in pain and with panic attacks, afraid to go out at night on his own.

When questioned by police Booth admitted the assault.

Booth was already awaiting sentence for assaulting a fellow resident at the Bolton Salvation Army Hostel and criminal damage to his mother’s laptop.

Jane Deakin, defending, said it was regrettable that Booth, of Scowcroft Street, Bolton, was appearing before the court again.

She conceded he has a “horrendous” criminal record and needs intensive help to combat his drink and anger management problems.

He was jailed for 18 months.