APPRENTICE plumber Connor Crosbee, 20, floored a love rival with a single punch which left his victim with a fractured skull and bleeding in the brain, a court heard.

Crosbee lashed out after Tristan Low admitted to him outside a Dursley pub that he had been making advances to Crosbee's girlfriend.

At Gloucester Crown Court Crosbee, of Lampern View, Uley, was to have stood jury trial after previously denying that he unlawfully inficted grievous bodily harm on Mr Low on July 17 last year.

But at the last minute he changed his plea to guilty after seeking guidance from Judge William Hart on what sentence he could expect if he admitted the offence.

The judge said he would pass a maximum of 12 months' imprisonment - but he would not be drawn on whether he would suspend that sentence or not.

Having been given the indication Crosbee pleaded guilty and was bailed until May 9 for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

The judge said he would decide at the next hearing whether Crosbee had to go straight to jail or could be freed with a suspended sentence.

Asking for the indication of sentence, defence barrister Tim Hills said that for five months before the assault Crosbee had been recovering from a double glassing attack at a Cheltenham nightclub which left him badly scarred.

Then on July 17 Crosbee went out for a few drinks for the first time since he was attacked, said Mr Hills.

In the weeks before that date, he said, Crosbee had been hearing that Mr Low was making advances to his girlfriend.

Then by coincidence as he left a town centre pub in Dursley he bumped into Mr Low and 'some words were exchanged,'

"According to Mr Crosbee, Mr Low admitted had been making advances to his girlfriend. A single punch was administered to Mr Low's face."

Mr Hills said the defendant telephoned for an ambulance and then the police himself and waited at the scene.

Crosbee was a man of good character from a good family and having finished the first stage of his apprenticeship was about to embark on further training to become a gas fitter, added Mr Hills.

Prosecutor Lisa Hennessy said she had spoken to Mr Low and she could confirm he had made a good recovery. His only concern now was whether he would be passed fit to join the Navy, she said.

She told the judge that Mr Low was 'not a vengeful person' and did not want to see another young man go to prison over what happened.