Two men from Stroud and Dursley who assaulted one of their ‘lifelong friends’ in an incident that none of them could explain were warned by a Gloucester judge today that ‘one punch can kill’.

Jordan Rennebach 27, of Heathcourt, Dursley, and Michael Stanton, 29, of Wheelers Walk, Farmhill, Stroud were sentenced by Judge Ian Lawrie QC at Gloucester crown court for their roles in the assault on Daniel Breen in Rennebach’s flat on February 11.

Stanton admitted assaulting Mr Breen causing him grievous bodily harm during the violent incident that took place after the three men had spent the evening drinking together.

Rennebach pleaded guilty to a common assault on Mr Breen by punching him once to the face.

Stanton’s violent attack was ‘sustained and persistent’ and left Mr Breen with what Judge Lawrie described as a ‘cracked nose and eye socket’.

Rennebach had been accused of assisting Stanton’s assault on Mr Breen by holding his arms back preventing him from protecting himself from Stanton’s blows.

But Rennebach denied that allegation and his jury trial collapsed after the first witness told the court he ‘heard’ Stanton hitting Mr Breen, but did not actually see Rennebach holding his friend’s arms behind him.

Rennebach agreed to plead guilty to the lesser offence of common assault on the basis of one punch.

Stanton was given an eight month jail term suspended for eighteen months and ordered to attend nine rehabilitation sessions to address anger and alcohol misuse.

Rennebach was made subject of a three month electronically monitored curfew between the hours of 8pm and 6am.

The prosecutor said the men met up on evening of February 10.

Mr Breen had a ‘vague recollection of falling out’ with Stanton, but could not remember much before waking up in hospital.

The judge warned Stanton: “Never again should he punch someone or use violence.”

Rennebach was ordered to pay £150 in compensation and Stanton £600 to Mr Breen.