A bloodied assault victim had multiple fractures to his face, lost eight teeth, needed plates inserted and 22 stitches after being punched and kicked by a man celebrating his 44th birthday, a court has heard.

Jason Paul Taylor, of West Parade, Criccieth, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm. Judge Huw Rees at Caernarfon crown court said there was “an element of provocation” and imposed a 16 months suspended jail term.

Taylor, a shopworker, must also pay £2,000 compensation at £30 a month and carry out 180 hours unpaid work, a thinking skills course and a rehabilitation activity.

Judge Rees said Robert Connor was attacked on September 15 and in hospital until September 28. The trouble began on a bus and continued when they got off at Porthmadog.

The judge said Mr Connor instigated what happened on the bus after being offended when Taylor asked him if he had any “coke.” Mr Connor had slapped the defendant’s face, the court heard.

“You grappled with each other after getting off the bus,” the judge told Taylor. Mr Connor apparently lost consciousness after being punched and kicked.

Judge Rees said :”Anybody who assaults anybody else in similar circumstances, especially by kicking, deserves immediate imprisonment.” But he said Taylor had abstained from alcohol and showed a positive attitude to a community order, imposed since the offence, for assaulting a PC and racial harassment.

“Provocation caused you to react in the way you did,” the judge declared. The victim had been under the influence, he said.

Prosecuting counsel Elen Owen said Mr Connor in December still suffered flashbacks and headaches. He had an operation to realign his nose and couldn’t eat properly.

Taylor threatened police officers on the way to Caernarfon police station and claimed he acted in self-defence, the barrister said. He said he hadn’t intended to hurt the victim as much as he had and was shocked when he saw pictures of the injuries. “They make quite disturbing viewing,” the prosecutor added.

James Coutts, defending Taylor, said :”He’s thoroughly ashamed of his behaviour.”