A 50-YEAR-OLD man was punched about 30 times in the head after he declined a challenge to fight his 24-year-old workmate.
Flinders View dad John Wessling spent more than 11 hours in surgery after he was savegly beaten by his friend of seven years, Nathan John Jackwitz.
At Ipswich District Court, Jackwitz pleaded guilty to charges of grievous bodily harm and assault occasioning bodily harm.
Crown prosecutor Matt Le Grand said the two men worked together at the Dinmore Meatworks and would often socialse together outside work.
However when Jackwitz visited Mr Wessling at his house on March 1 for a few games of pool things took a violent turn.
Mr Le Grand said Jackwitz was apparently intoxicated when he arrived at the address about 9.30pm in the company of two other workmates.
As the men began to play pool, Jackwitz turned agressive and drunkenly challenged Mr Wessling to a fight.
Mr Wessling instead told his workmate to leave and escorted him outside.
When the two men were at the front of the house, Jackwitz suddenly elbowed Mr Wessling to the face and threw him on the ground.
Jackwitz then dove on top of Mr Wessling and repeatedly punched him in the head. Doctors later estimated Mr Wessling was hit at least 30 times.
Fellow workmate, 20-year-old Ashley Morrow, ran outside and pulled Jackwitz off Mr Wessling.
A that point, Jackwitz redirected his anger towards Mr Morrow and punched him in the left eye.
Mr Wessling was taken to hospital and suffered a number of facial fractures which required two lengthy operations.
Mr Morrow was left with a fractured eye socket.
Defence barrister Malcolm Harrison said Jackwitz had no prior criminal history and that his attack was "out of character."
On the night of the incident, Mr Harrison said his client had been feeling tense and that his attack had been brought on by alcohol.
He said Jackwitz felt remorse for his crime and had pledged to pay Mr Harrison $8000 to help with his hospital bills.
Judge Greg Koppenol said Jackwitz's "cowardly and vicious" attack was a serious case of gratuitous violence.
"It was fortunate that you were pulled off Mr Wessling before you could inflict any more damage," he said.
Jackwitz was sentenced to two years in jail and released on parole after two months.
"It would send the wrong message to the community if you were allowed to walk away without jail time for what you did," Judge Koppenol said.