TWO Latvian men who continued to attack another man at a Hereford flat while he was unconscious have avoided prison.

Arturs Cirulis , of St Martin’s Street, Hereford, and Rihards Sadauskis, of Exchange Hall, Tallaght, Dublin, were at a flat on Whitecross Road on the evening of March 2 last year.

Both had been drinking and were acting aggressively, Hereford Crown Court was told last week, and they took against another man at the address, Nicholas Jones, accusing him of not having brought enough beer with him.

Sadauskis, 28, then accused another man, Oliver Wright, of sleeping with his girlfriend and Cirulis, 27, began staring at Mr Wright.

He then got up and punched Mr Wright repeatedly in the face, causing him to fall back. Both attacked him, punching him to his mouth, nose, jaw and head, the court heard.

Mr Wright said he was unconscious and came to momentarily before he felt himself on the floor and was stamped on. He did not recall who by but lost consciousness again.

Nicholas Jones attempted to intervene but was pushed or punched by Cirulis to the left side of the face. Mr Wright was then attacked again despite being unconscious, the court was told.

Mr Jones said the assault was so severe he thought Cirulis was going to kill Mr Wright.

Police were called and both men were arrested and interviewed. They did not deny their presence but said they had no recollection of events.

At a hearing in November, both men pleaded guilty to one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm while Cirulis also pleaded guilty to one count of common assault.

Jonathan Stanniland, defending Cirulis, said he was held in very high regard by those who immediately managed him or worked alongside him, with the attack considered ‘out of character’.

“He has no convictions or cautions recorded and has worked extremely hard throughout his time in the UK,” he said. “When he was a student in Latvia he aspired for a place at university. Sadly the economic climate had changed so that seeking employment abroad was the only option.

“He still doesn't know what led him to behave in that way last year but he is extremely sorry.”

Sadauskis did not have legal representation at the hearing.

Judge Daniel Pearce-Higgins said both defendants appeared to be remorseful and said it was clear the attack was out of character.

He sentenced Cirulis to 12 months imprisonment for the ABH charge and three months for common assault, to run consecutively, but to be suspended for two years. He will also have to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and will pay £600 compensation and a £100 victim surcharge.

Sadauskis was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for two years. He will also have to pay £400 compensation and a £100 victim surcharge.