A reveller left a man with a broken jaw after a violent fracas outside a Chorley pub.
John Parker, 27, of Devonport Way, Chorley, admitted a charge of wounding.
He had his eight month jail term suspended for 18 months by Recorder Kevin Grice, who heard he had never committed an offence before.
Instead he must do unpaid work and pay his victim, a truck driver, £2,500 compensation.
Prosecuting, Mercedah Jabbari told Preston Crown Court on June 11 there was an altercation in the Prince of Wales pub on New Market Street, Chorley.
The disturbance led to several people being ejected, and standing in a group outside.
Agitated Parker then approached his victim pointing and gesticulating.
At one stage a doorman at the pub tried to calm him down, but Parker went on to punch the man three times.
The first blow knocked him through a barrier and onto the ground and he lost consciousness for a short time.
He later needed surgery at the Royal Preston Hospital to have two metal plates fitted to his fractured jaw.
In a victim impact statement the man, a married dad, said he did not feel comfortable walking around the town and was fearful of bumping into his attacker.
He has also suffered sleepless nights and had to go on a liquid and soft food diet until his jaw was healed.
Recorder Grice said: “How sad it is to see you at 27 in Crown Court for your first time.
“You should just have walked away from this and gone home and yet here you are - what do I do with you?
“There are people who believe you should go to prison.”
He added: “I think you have learnt your lessons. You pleaded guilty and are genuinely sorry for what you did, and if I put you in prison now a great deal of harm is going to be done. You’re probably going to lose your job.
“Do not be under any doubt how close you came to going to prison. I’m going to treat this as a one off incident borne out of drink where you simply lost control. If I’m wrong and you do this again you’ll go to prison for a long time.