When stunned families on Blackpool’s busy Promenade saw violent thug Jamie Hornsbury lashing out with kicks, they assumed the attack was so ferocious he must be hitting a wall.
But they were left horrified when it emerged he was savagely beating a man lying on the ground.
Today Hornsby, 31, is waking up behind bars, after being jailed for eight years for the sustained attack in broad daylight on Blackpool seafront last May.
As families with young children watched on, his victim had to be airlifted to hospital with a catalogue of horrific injuries and was so badly injured paramedics had to resuscitate him.
He suffered a fractured left cheekbone, fractured eye socket, a collapsed right lung and, while in a medically induced coma, he required a procedure to relieve pressure inside his skull.
Hornsby was convicted by a jury at Preston Crown Court of wounding with intent.
Sentencing, Recorder Bernadette Baxter, branded the attack “savage” told him: “You have shown no remorse and accept no responsibility.”
The court heard the defendant got into a verbal argument with his victim on May 27 last year.
But in the violence that followed, witnesses reported seeing Hornsby drunk and kicking what they thought was a bag or a wall up to 15 times.
However, they soon realised he was attacking his victim, who was lying on the ground.
Huw Edwards, prosecuting, said witnesses had seen the Hornsby and his victim speaking to begin with and apparently arguing near the Metropole hotel.
They walked off along the Prom, away from the North Pier.
Mr Edwards told the court: “Other witnesses walking on the beach or the Prom saw the defendant kicking what they thought was either a bag or a wall to begin with.
“It turned out he was kicking (the victim) while he was on the ground.
“The defendant accepted having punched him once, knocking him to the ground, then kicking him. Witnesses recalled eight to 15 kicks over a minute”.
Hornsby walked off as witnesses approached and went to the injured man’s aid.
Mr Edwards added: “There was very serious concern for the welfare of (the victim). An air ambulance was called and he was airlifted from the scene.
“He needed resuscitation in the helicopter on one occasion.” He was released from hospital three days later but the court heard his confidence was knocked by the attack, leaving the victim unable to socialise in the town centre or go fishing on the seafront.
Hornsby had previous convictions that included a two year sentence for robbery passed in May 2005, the court was told.
Lucy Wright, defending, said: “It was an isolated incident of extreme violence. He has not been convicted since 2005 of a violent offence.
“He is not predisposed to violence on a regular basis.”
The judge said Hornsby had gone to Blackpool at the time and maintained he had only drunk two cans, despite witnesses’ claims he looked drunk.
She told him: “For some reason you entered into a dispute with the victim. As a result of that you severely beat him. Witnesses describe a savage attack.
“Witnesses were enjoying a pleasant afternoon on the beach with various friends and family, including children, who came upon this scene. You can only imagine the impact that would have had on them and the children with them.”
She added that it had been a sustained attack, with a foot used as a weapon.