A Burton man began sending his victim threatening text messages before beating him up in a “revenge” gang attack.
The victim’s former girlfriend laughed and told him 'this is what happens' as she watched him get beaten in a 'revenge' gang attack at his own home.
A court was told how the victim had previously been in a relationship with the woman but after they split up he began receiving threatening online messages from her friend, Richard McEwan, of Harper Avenue, Horninglow.
The threats reached a head when McEwan and other men knocked at the door of the victim’s flat; when he answered they dragged him outside and beat him.
The background to the reason for the assault was not revealed at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court when 26-year-old McEwan, who is the only person so far to be convicted of any charges, appeared to be sentenced.
Ali Zaki, prosecuting, said: "This was an incident that started between the complainant and his ex-partner.
"He said he began receiving text messages a number he did not know.
"Those text messages started to become more threatening and the person who made them said he was called McEwan.
"The incident which saw the complainant assaulted took place on May 13.
"He was in bed at around 10.15pm when he heard a knock at the door.
"He got up and answered it and was met by the sight of four or five males, one of whom grabbed him and pulled him down the stairs.
"They were kicking and punching him and as they did so the victim saw his ex-partner watching and laughing in his face saying ‘this is what happens’ as he was being assaulted."
Mr Zaki said after he was attacked the victim was taken to hospital to be x-rayed and treated for injuries including cuts and bruises.
He said the police became involved and McEwan was arrested and linked to the offence through the messages he had sent from his mobile phone.
He pleaded guilty to one count of common assault and the court heard how one other man is awaiting trial in connection with the attack.
Representing himself in court, McEwan was asked by District Judge Jonathan Taaffe: "What do you want to say to me about this?”
He replied: "I should not have got involved; I just got caught up in it.”
Judge Taaffe handed McEwan a 16-week jail term, suspended for a year and ordered him to carry out 120 hours unpaid work.
He also ordered him to pay £200 compensation to the victim, £85 prosecution costs and a £115 victim surcharge.
Judge Taaffe said: "This is an offence where there is effectively a gang attack on a man who ends up having to go to hospital for x-rays and treatment, simply because there has been some kind of argument.
"To my mind it appears to be some kind of revenge attack."