THREE men have been spared jail after they assaulted a man at Newport Bus Station — but the case took more than two years to get to court.

Recorder Richard Shepherd said in all likelihood the men would have been sent to prison if the case had got to court sooner, but two years on, the men had demonstrated it was a one-off incident and hadn't re-offended since.

The case delay, a result of the police investigation initially, was not the fault of the defendants. Then their trial was delayed during 2020 and the men subsequently pleaded guilty on the first day of the trial.

Joe Lloyd, 25, of Howard Close, Newport, his brother Toby Lloyd, 23, of the same address, and Charlie King, 21, of Orchardleigh Road, Shanklin, all admitted assault occasioning grievous bodily harm on December 14, 2018.

Toby Lloyd also admitted causing affray.

Roderick Blain, prosecuting, said the incident was fairly typical of drunken violence, although King maintains he wasn't drunk.

The victim came into conflict with the defendants and it was accepted by both prosecution and defence that the victim's behaviour was 'in a manner that attracted confrontation' — in the words of Mr Blain.

CCTV footage showed the three men attacking him, however. He was punched to the ground, stamped on while on the ground, and left bleeding heavily.

The victim's partner witnessed the assault and the victim was taken to hospital by ambulance. He suffered bruising, bleeding, and a laceration to the head.

Thomas Ackworth and Graham Gilbert, representing the three men, said the attack was out of character, a one-off, and the men had spent the time since in employment and out of trouble.

Recorder Shepherd said: "The real problem with street violence is that people die. A single punch, a person falls to the floor, hits their head on the kerb and dies. Courts take it very seriously.

"Had I been sentencing in 2019 it would have been immediate imprisonment. The significant delay was not your fault and since 2018 none of you have been in trouble. It allows me to impose suspended sentences."

Toby Lloyd was given a 16 month sentence, suspended for two years.

Charlie King was given a nine month sentence, suspended for 18 months.

Joe Lloyd was given a ten month sentence, suspended for 18 months.

All must complete 100 hours of unpaid work and will be on a curfew for four months, between 9pm and 6am.

They must each pay £400 costs and a £140 victim surcharge.