A dad-to-be who broke a man’s eye socket in a street brawl and left him with a deformed finger has narrowly avoided prison.

Luke Thompson attacked Anthony Stewart last summer in a fight over a woman, Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday.

Although the charge, causing grievous bodily harm, would normally carry a prison sentence, Judge David Hatton suspended Thompson’s 21-month sentence for two years, saying he appeared to be turning his life around and was soon to become a father.

The pair started rowing on Goulbourne Street, Keighley, at about 6.30pm on July 24.

The brawl, over a woman Thompson was dating, left Mr Stewart needing metal wiring in his hand and a metal plate in his skull. Medical reports also said Mr Stewart’s little finger may be permanently deformed.

Kate Bisset, defending, said CCTV footage of the brawl showed that the men were swinging punches and it was not a one-sided attack.

She said that since the fight Thompson, who turns 29 today, had got his first steady job as a warehouse supervisor and his girlfriend was soon to give birth to his first child.

Although Thompson, of Elm Grove, Keighley, had previous convictions, including a four-year prison sentence for robbery in 2010, she said he had finally pulled his life together and urged Judge Hatton to suspend any prison sentence.

She added: “At this point in his life the prospect of prison terrifies him. A suspended sentence would be a real threat to him. It would be a big punishment hanging over him if he did anything wrong again.”

Judge Hatton agreed that the brawl was not one-sided but added: “There is no escaping the fact that your attack on him was sustained, repeated, forceful and that it caused serious injury including facial fractures requiring surgery and what sounds like a permanent deformity of his little finger.

“I will impose a custodial sentence of 21 months.

“Whether you serve that sentence is up to you. I will suspend it because the offence took place ten months ago and you have committed no offences since. Not only that, but your circumstances have altered in that time. For these reasons I am going to give you a chance.”

He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £750 in compensation.