A father-of-one who was left for dead from a single punch has hit out after his attacker was spared jail.
Football fan Mark Collier suffered a bleed on the brain after being floored by Dominic McPherson, 21, in June last year.
The 30-year-old battled back from the brink after he claims doctors told him that nine out of ten people don’t survive that type of attack.
Mark had been watching England’s first World Cup group game against Tunisia with best friend Adam Buckley, 31, when the pair were brutally set upon outside a taxi rank.
After jumping in to protect his friend, Mark received a single blow to the head which knocked him to the floor where he smacked his head and fell unconscious.
Mark woke up 12 hours later in Salford Royal Hospital’s intensive care unit but could not recall the specific details of the attack.
Despite dodging death, Mark – who has recently become a dad to three-month-old Toby – suffered from the brain injury, vertigo, ongoing dizziness and went deaf in one ear.
Mark, who is due to marry his fiancée Hayley Melling next year, was rendered unable to work meaning the former self-employed landscape gardener was forced to give up his business.
After an agonising eight-month wait, Mark and Adam finally watched their attacker plead guilty at Bolton Crown Court in February this year.
But the pair were hit with another blow when the judge chose to defer sentencing for six months to give McPherson the chance to raise £1,500 in compensation.
Last week, McPherson was brought back to the same court where he was given 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months.
He also received two months, also suspended, to run concurrently for the assault on Adam who was also hit.
Speaking about the sentence, Mark, from Golborne near Wigan, Greater Mancs., said: “I want him to regret how much he has made us suffer and if he is apologetic about it, I am happy with the justice.
“We are so disappointed. The whole family was expecting a longer sentence.
“I do hope the sentence teaches him a lesson because I could have died.
“Anyone can have an angry moment and punch someone, not knowing the consequences and what it will cause and then wish they never did it.
“He literally hit me once. It’s so scary because anyone can go round and lose their temper once.
“I can now get on with life now that we have closure.”
Mark and his friend Adam were making their way home after the England match when they were set upon by several men.
One of them punched Mark in the face which knocked him to the floor where he smacked his head and fell unconscious after suffering a bleed on the brain.
The next thing Mark remembers is waking up in hospital with his terrified fiancée and mum by his bedside.
“Adam was getting attacked by a couple of lads, I jumped in and remember getting in between them,” added Mark.
“I was unconscious for nearly 12 hours and doctors told me when I woke up the next day that nine out of 10 people don’t survive.
“I was fighting for my life. I look at everything in a different way now.
“I lost confidence, I lost all motivation to go out. I lost my business. This one punch had such a huge impact on me and my family.
“It has been the worst year of my life. It’s been horrible. I went through a period where I kept getting butterflies in my stomach which was so hard to get rid of.
“I was petrified to go out and refused to leave the house for the first two months after the attack.
“When I first went out, I walked 200 yards from my house to the shop and saw a group of lads and almost had a panic attack so had to turn back.”
McPherson will have to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and has been ordered to pay Mark £1,500 in compensation over the next 28 days.