A BRIERLEY Hill thug who viciously punched and kicked a young man leaving him with a fractured eye socket, cheekbone

and hand after an argument over a girl has been locked up for six-and-a-half years.

Victim Aiden Bridges continued to suffer from nightmares and flashbacks from the brutal attack and he now rarely left

home because he feared he could be targeted for another attack.

The plasterer told police the injury to his hand had jeopardised his ability to carry on in the job he "loved" adding, "genuinely thought I was going to die."

Raj Punia, prosecuting, told Wolverhampton Crown Court the sustained and repeated attack had a major impact

on the life of Mr Bridges.

She said it was Matthew Brant who was the main assailant and he lashed out with punches and kicks after getting his

victim in a headlock.

Bradley Bridgwood then joined in the attack and he delivered one kick to the vulnerable Mr Bridges after he had been

beaten to the ground by 21-year-old Brant.

Bridgwood and Brant had both been driven to the scene by Matthew Ray but he played no part in the violence before

driving them away, said Miss Punia.

She told the court there had been a row over a girl and the attack came after a number of aggressive and threatening

text messages had been exchanged by both sides.

Judge Nichoas Webb said it was "quite probable" that Mr Bridges had been looking for an argument but he "got much

more than he bargained for."

He said the three defendants in their separate ways were all involved in the violence that lead to Mr Bridges suffering

what were extremely serious injuries.

Brant of Lindsay Place, Brierley Hill, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent and the judge ruled only an

immediate jail term was justified.

Bridgwood, aged 22, of Wrens Nest, Dudley, admitted inflicting grievous bodily, common assault on a former partner and

witness intimidation as he tried to persuade her to drop the charges. He was jailed for two years three months.

Ray, aged 20, of The Broadway, Dudley, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm and he was given a 12 month jail term

suspended for two years.

He was further ordered by the judge to carry out 150 hours unpaid work in the community and to pay Mr Bridges £750

compensation for his injuries.