Student was hurt in attack by mob in Loughborough College corridor
A victim suffered a fractured cheekbone after being attacked by a "mob" of fellow students in a college corridor.
Leicester Crown Court heard the student was repeatedly punched and kicked as he lay defenceless on the floor.
One attacker, Mark Hawkins, who has previous convictions for violence, pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm.
He was given a 12-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to pay the victim £1,000 compensation.
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He will also carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.
John Hallissey, prosecuting, told the court that before the attack, in December 2010, the victim drove out of the entrance to Loughborough College.
Hawkins (22), of Sharpley Road, Loughborough, elbowed the driver's window as the vehicle edged past him and a verbal exchange took place.
Two hours later, at 12.30pm, the victim was with friends in a corridor of the college when they encountered the defendant in a group of about eight or nine.
Hawkins said: "This is them."
Three or four of them, including Hawkins, began throwing punches at the complainant.
Mr Hallissey said: "He was punched with significant force to put him to the floor and they set about kicking him to his head, ribs and torso."
Witnesses claimed one of Hawkins' associates produced a knife and threatened the complainant's friends.
As the dazed victim sat up, one of the group returned for "one final blow".
Hawkins, who lost his college place because of the incident, was arrested in April 2011 after police viewed CCTV footage.
The victim opted not to have an operation to his fractured cheekbone because the risk of losing his sight in one eye was too great.
He has been left with "mild flattening" to one side of his face, Mr Hallissey told the court.
John Lyons, mitigating, said it was unclear who caused the fracture as several people took part in the attack.
He said Hawkins, who was remorseful, denied kicking the victim.
Mr Lyons told the court: "It wasn't a planned ambush or a group being marshalled by the defendant.
"He never saw a knife being wielded and was completely unaware of that."
Before the incident, Hawkins was coming to terms with the deaths of two friends, in separate incidents, and briefly "went off the rails," the court heard.
Hawkins has two previous convictions for inflicting grievous bodily harm, in 2006 and in 2009.
Recorder Martine Kushner said: "This was a nasty offence.
"There was trouble brewing and after two hours the red mist hadn't cleared – on the contrary, it deepened.
"It was, in effect, a mob in the corridor at Loughborough College. It's the last place that violence should have occurred.
"That place at college was hard won and could have been your salvation."