A COACH firm worker who gave a perceived 'love rival' a kicking -- and was captured on CCTV doing it -- has walked free from court.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Darren Gee, 22, was more shocked than anybody when he saw on film what he had done and his barrister told how a picture painted a thousand words.

Gee, whose victim Matthew Boyd, 27, had collapsed in a pub doorway after the attack on Boxing Day last year, had six unsolicited testimonials on his behalf handed to the judge.

Sentencing him to 200 hours community punishment, Recorder Robert Warnock, said he had been exceptionally drunk and exceptionally violent. He said it was good fortune Mr Boyd, who magistrates had decided earlier provoked the defendant, did not suffer more serious injuries.

The judge said he had just been persuaded it did not serve the public interest, nor was it necessarily his public duty to send Gee to jail -- even though he had come very close.

Gee, of Wilfred Street, Accrington, must also pay £1,000 compensation and £105 costs. He had earlier been convicted of assault causing actual bodily harm and had been committed for sentence by Hyndburn magistrates.

Sue Riley, prosecuting, said Mr Boyd had gone to the Golden Cross pub in Oswaldtwistle, where his friend and ex-girlfriend Karen Perry worked. Gee was a regular there and was 'interested' in Miss Perry, whom he had spent some time with. Mr Boyd believed Gee's attentions towards his former partner were not welcome and that may explain what happened that night.