A ‘FAMILY man’ attacked a neighbour of his parents-in-law in Alvechurch, breaking six of his ribs and puncturing his lung.

Robert Avery, of High View Road, Leamington Spa, was spared jail at Worcester Crown Court on Monday after he admitted grievous bodily harm without intent at trial.

The 36-year-old had been staying at the home of his in-laws in Alvechurch on February 21, 2016, when he went outside to his car to collect a packet of cigarettes.

Here Avery was approached by neighbour Richard Rand, who was disturbed by the amount of noise he was making.

The court heard how the two began grappling.

John Brotherton, prosecuting, said: “The defendant was in the mood to reconcile and put his hand out for the complainant to shake. The complainant refused."

Avery is then thought to have kicked Mr Rand at least once.

Though Avery could not remember kicking the victim, he accepted he must have done, but denied he intended to cause his injuries.

The complainant suffered six broken ribs, a punctured lung and a haemothorax, where his chest cavity filled with blood and air.

He spent three nights in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

In a victim personal statement Mr Rand said the assault had affected his ability to work and he had to return to lighter duties.

He said he was in daily pain, suffered permanent nerve damage and was 'unlikely to be pain-free with the passage of time'.

In a victim personal statement Mr Rand said the assault had affected his ability to work and that he was in daily pain.

Ian Speed, for Avery, pointed out that a jury had acquitted him of a more serious charge of wounding with intent during his trial between March 12 and 14.

He described Avery as 'very much a family man' with two children.

Mr Speed conceded the offence crossed the custody threshold but asked for the sentence to be suspended, leaving Avery in a better position to pay compensation to Mr Rand.

He said: "It's a loss of temper. It was not pre-meditated. It was not intentional."

Judge Nicholas Cole said: “The injuries which have been outlined are such that you must have applied a significant degree of force to his chest area."

Avery was sentenced to 20 months in custody, suspended for 18 months.

He must complete a thinking skills programme, up to 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days and 100 hours of unpaid work.

Avery was also ordered to pay £2,000 in compensation to Mr Rand and £535 costs.