THUGS who beat a man and left him covered in blood outside a club have avoided jail.

Aidan Taylor and Billy Daines, both 18, were handed suspended prison sentences after the vicious assault near to Chameleon Nightclub, in Southend.

The pair began shouting at a homeless man before they launched the attack on the innocent victim on March 15.

Charlotte Davison, prosecuting, told the court: “At about 4am the defendants went to get into a car and began shouting abuse at a homeless man.

“The defendants then squared up to the victim.

“Daines pushed the victim, Taylor punched the victim and he fell to the floor, Daines then stamped on his head.

“The victim was rushed to hospital and under supervision for five hours and in a head and neck brace.

“Medics feared possible spinal injuries but it was not the case. He had cuts and a lump on his head.“He was unable to work and lost about £250 in earnings.”

Christopher Whitcombe, mitigating for Taylor, said: “He felt something was going to happen to his detriment and he expressed extreme remorse for his actions.”

Nick Bonehill, mitigating for Billy Daines, added: “He and his family are completely shocked by the behaviour.”

Both Taylor, of Douglas Drive, Wickford, and Daines, of Mount Close, Wickford, admitted one count of ABH.

Sentencing the pair at Basildon Crown Court yesterday, Judge John Lodge said: “This was yobbish behaviour, sadly far too typical. Aiden Taylor, you receive nine months in a detention youth offending institution, suspended for 18 months and an electric curfew between 9pm and 6am for four months.

“You must complete 150 hours unpaid work and 20 days rehabilitation requirement activities and receive a 12-month prohibiting order preventing you from being in a bar or club. You can go to a restaurant, but not out for a drink and you must pay £500 compensation.”

Daines was handed 12 months in a detention youth offending institution, suspended for 18 months, a six-month curfew between 9pm and 6am and he must also complete 150 hours of unpaid work.

Like Taylor, he was also banned from going to a bar or club for one year.