A man whose drunken bravado led to him punching a man in an "unwarranted and reckless attack" escaped a jail sentence when he appeared in the Supreme Court in Launceston. Patrick Andrew Thurley, 30, was found guilty by a jury of assaulting Kelleher Retchford in a drunken brawl in the Launceston CBD at about 4.30am. Dr Retchford, then 26, celebrated with friends after finishing an internship at the Launceston General Hospital at 5pm on July 12 but ended up back at the hospital exactly 12 hours later after being seriously injured. During the trial the jury heard that Thurley punched Dr Retchford after seeing a woman go to the ground in a melee near the corner of St John and York streets. He claimed to have acted in self defence or defence of another. Thurley, a roofer by occupation, told police he had drunk about 12, ten ounce beers and rated himself seven out of ten on a scale of drunkenness. When he came across a melee of five to ten people Thurley entered the event with drunken bravado believing it was Dr Retchford who knocked the woman over. The court heard that Thurley had a prior conviction for disturbing the public peace by fighting in June 2019. Acting Justice David Porter made findings of fact based on the jury verdict. He said it was not possible to say how the woman was knocked over and that it was not possible to say it was the complainant. "I am satisfied that the defendant thought it was the complainant," he said. He said Thurley's punch was a retributive attack. Acting Justice Porter said the complainant received a broken jaw on the left side and had a bruise on the right side of his head suggesting he had fallen and struck his head on the street. He said a victim impact statement revealed that the attack had a life altering impact which included significant physical and psychological impacts. Acting Justice Porter said the danger of late night drunken brawls and single punch attacks was well known. "Death can easily result and courts seek to eradicate them," he said. "Some require immediate imprisonment but I accept this was not a sudden gratuitous random attack." He imposed a seven month jail sentence but wholly suspended it for two years on the condition that he commit no offence punishable by imprisonment. "You need to be very careful because there are many offences punishable by imprisonment including the possession of cannabis," he said.