TWO men have been given lengthy jail terms for their roles in a "sadistic" Cumbrian town attack on a victim who was hit repeatedly with a metal bar and had his head kicked and stamped on.

Luke Peter Canning, 22, and 26-year-old Jordan Lee Jenkinson mounted a vicious joint revenge assault on Richard Wilkinson, who was initially involved in an early hours row outside Kendal pub Smokies on March 30.

Mr Wilkinson had left that area, returning with a two foot long metal dumb bell and butted Canning. But when 33-year-old Mr Wilkinson was pursued through an alleyway to nearby Waterside, the weapon was taken off him and used by Canning to deliver 18 brutal body blows. Two brave local residents rushed to Mr Wilkinson's aid, including one man in his pyjamas who disarmed Canning, who then fled.

An experienced pathologist later examined evidence of Mr Wilkinson's life-changing injuries and concluded he also received a minimum of 13 other blows to the head and face, including stamps and kicks. She stated his injuries were "serious and severe, and would undoubtedly have caused immense pain and suffering".

Mr Wilkinson suffered multiple facial and rib fractures. He lost teeth - two of which were found at the scene - was left scarred and had a metal plate fitted to his jaw. He had no memory of the attack and underwent surgery during a nine-day hospital stay.

"He has daily thoughts of feeling he would be better off dead," prosecutor Jeremy Grout-Smith told today's Carlisle Crown Court sentencing hearing of the impact on Mr Wilkinson, who had added: "I am not the same person I used to be, and fear that I never will be."

Canning, of Bridge Street, Burneside, admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent. Jenkinson, of Lound Road, Kendal, denied that charge but was convicted, unanimously, after a trial. Both were cleared of alleged attempted murder.

Judge James Adkin concluded both were dangerous offenders as he jailed Canning for nine-and-a-half years and Jenkinson for 12 years, ordering them to serve extended four-year licence periods. Both must serve two-thirds of their jail terms before being considered for release.

"You subjected him to a ferocious and sadistic punishment beating," Judge Adkin told the pair. "The sadistic element of this was the intensity of the violence and continuation of the violence when Mr Wilkinson was obviously defenceless and in agony." He told Canning: "If you had not been disarmed this attack would have continued with life-threatening consequences."