An ex-prisoner who attacked his friend of 19 years, before smashing up a village pub, has avoided jail.
Wayne Danks, 39, accused his long-term friend Andrew McMahon of stealing his tools, before attacking him in front on children at Soham recreation ground on November 23.
He then made his way to the Red Lion pub in the village where he smashed a window pane after an argument with the landlord in the early hours of the following day, a court heard on Tuesday.
Paul Brown, prosecuting, said: “The defendant noticed some his tools had gone missing and thought Mr McMahon had taken them.
“They met at Soham recreational ground, where the defendant started shouting and swearing at the victim. He then pushed and punched him several times until a member of the public told them to stop as children were there.”
Danks then went to the Red Lion pub in the High Street, where he smashed a window pane after being thrown out at around 2am the next morning.
Representing himself, Danks, of no fixed address, said: “I was out of order. I’m now working and really trying to re-build my life.”
District judge Ken Sheraton, said: “You’re getting a bit old for this.
“I’m going to give you an 18 month community and a 50-day programme to try and get you to think before you use your fists.”
Danks was ordered to pay £50 compensation to Mr McMahon and £50 for the window, as well as £85 in costs and a £20 surcharge.
A restraining order preventing Danks from contacting Mr McMahon for the next two years was also implemented.