A CAGE fighter whose brutal assault led to a man spending six days in an induced coma has walked free from court after a judge agreed he had been subjected to “extreme provocation”.

David Wilson, who also works as a part-time gardener, had been attacked by the victim, a former friend, after he intervened in a confrontation the man was having with his wife after a party held on the Brough estate, in Colburn, near Catterick.

Wilson walked him home, but the pair brawled violently in a series of fights, some of which were witnessed by parents and their children.

The 27-year-old was hit and knocked off guard by the victim, who was said to be very drunk, and later told police he “lost it”. He then launched an attack of his own, punching and kicking the complainant who suffered a broken nose and swelling to the brain.

Richard Bennett, prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court, said the brain injury was “potentially catastrophic” and required surgery to relieve the pressure on the organ.

The victim, who himself had experience as a cage fighter, had now recovered, although it remained to be seen whether his cognitive ability had been impaired.

Wilson, a father of two, of Walnut Avenue, Colburn, admitted causing grievous bodily harm on July 31 last year.

His barrister Adrian Dent said he had been subjected to a good deal of provocation and urged Recorder Mark McKone to take an exceptional course in suspending any jail sentence.

He said: “He fought him in order to stop being assaulted himself and to prevent the complainant from getting into any further trouble.

“He is not the brightest of people. Concepts of reasonable self defence and going too far are difficult for him to understand.”

Recorder McKone said it had been a savage attack, but the victim had also acted in a quite disgraceful way.

He believed Wilson would not commit any further offences in the future and to immediately jail him would have a disproportionate effect on his family.

He suspended a two year jail sentence on him for two years, gave him 200 hours unpaid work, and ordered he attend an anger management course.