He claimed he was acting in self-defence when he repeatedly punched a defenceless man on the ground, causing the victim's eyeball to rupture, and yesterday he had one final message for the victim.
Christopher Gary William West, 23, turned to Grant Holbrow as he was led from Newcastle District Court and mouthed "f--- you" while making a gesture with his left hand.
West was jailed for four years and six months with a non-parole period of two years and three months.
Judge Peter Berman described the attack as "chilling and disturbing".
West told the court he thought Mr Holbrow was going to attack him when he punched Mr Holbrow to the ground outside the Gladstone Hotel, Stockton, on Melbourne Cup Day last year.
Judge Berman said West, who lived across the road from the pub, could have left after the first punch, but security camera footage showed West delivered a flurry of punches to Mr Holbrow's face.
Mr Holbrow suffered facial fractures, a broken jaw and lost the sight of his left eye after it ruptured.
He had 15 plates inserted in his face and West initially feared that he'd killed him, the court heard.
Judge Berman said it was yet another example of drunken violence in Newcastle.
"I accept that trouble came to the offender, but it was the offender who resorted to violence – not the victim," Judge Berman said.
West previously pleaded guilty to recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm.
Judge Berman said West was drunk and had previously been in fights, although the only matter on his record was for offensive conduct, when he urinated on a hotel after being refused entry.