A JUDGE dealing with a case where a violent punch from a Cam man left his victim with life-changing brain damage has questioned whether pubs and clubs should be allowed to stay open till the early hours.

The attack by Christopher Perrett, 20, on student Liam Malone caused him to fall to the ground and hit his head, which resulted in a blood clot on the brain leaving him with serious disabilities.

After Perrett, of Stonelea, Cam,was convicted of inflicting grievous bodily harm on Mr Malone, Judge William Hart remanded him custody until a date to be fixed while a pre-sentence report was prepared.

The judge told the jurors who had tried the case: "Mr Malone has a very long road to recovery and it is unlikely he will ever make anything like a full recovery.

"This is, I am afraid, far from the only occasion when this sort of tragic consequence occurs when, usually young men, but not always, go out drinking late at night.

"Whether it is a good idea to have public houses and clubs open till 4am so people can get themselves into a state and behave in a deplorable way is a matter for government and not for judges.

"But this type of violence is only too common in our towns and cities. "

He said the case was a perfect example of the danger of drinking and getting involved in pointless disputes.

Relatives of Perrett burst into tears in the public gallery at Gloucester crown court as the jury foreman announced the verdict.

Judge Hart agreed to order a pre-sentence report on Perrett from the probation service but warned him "custody is inevitable."

During a three day trial the jury heard that a bizarre street confronation about plankton and a beached whale [plankton is eaten by many whales] led to Perrett punching student Liam Malone in the face outside the 2 Pigs late-night bar and club in Cheltenham, in June last year.

Women screamed in horror as they saw Mr Malone lying motionless and unconscious on the ground with blood coming from his head.

Perrett, who had two previous convictions for violence, claimed he was acting in self defence because he had been punched in the stomach first.