A DRUNK student who partially blinded a man in a savage attack has avoided jail.

Ben Redman, 22, from Basildon, punched his 53-year-old victim to the floor after being challenged by Stephen Hails for pushing a girl on to a car bonnet.

The victim has now completely lost vision in his left eye. He was also left with a fractured thumb and eye socket during the attack in Ipswich, where Redman studies at University Campus Suffolk.

Ipswich Crown Court heard witness statements describing Redman as having a “wild look in his eye” in the lead up to the assault on Mr Hails last December.

He intimidated and goaded his victim by asking: “What are you going to do about it, old man?”

Redman drew his arm back behind his shoulder and landed a blow below Mr Hails’s eye.

It caused him to fall to the floor, hitting his head and losing consciousness.

Redman, who lives in Duke Street, Ipswich, during student term time, then fled the scene.

The business and marketing undergraduate admitted causing grievous bodily harm. Judge David Goodin sentenced him to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered him to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work.

Redman must also keep to a two-month night-time curfew at his mother’s house in Basildon.

The judge said: “This was a savage, brutal and mindless attack, making you a hooligan who in drink can’t control himself.”

Mr Hails suffered psychologically, physically and financially as a result of the attack, but Judge Goodin said Redman’s dire financial situation meant there was little point in making an order for compensation.

Claire Ashcroft, mitigating, said Redman had only been playfully pushing the girl in the run-up to the attack.

She added: “He’s horrified at the acts that have been described and I would ask this incident is seen as an aberration in an otherwise hard-working 22-year life.”

A spokeswoman for University Campus Suffolk said it would begin internal disciplinary procedures against Redman.