A MAN’s life has been ruined by a punch to the head in a row over a pair of sunglasses.

Alex Gretton was hit in the temple by Billy Stokes after he refused to pay £200 to fix a broken lens, an attack which left him with a bruise on the brain and unable to stay awake, eat or work.

Mr Gretton could not remember anything after the attack and did not understand what had happened when he woke up in tremendous pain in Alexandra Hospital on May 20.

Collette Orton, prosecuting, said the punch, which caused Mr Gretton to hit his head on the wall and the pavement, caused “serious injury” and had “serious consequences” for Mr Gretton.

Worcester Magistrates Court head how Mr Gretton was out drinking with friends when he tripped on a step in The Outside Inn in Market Place, Evesham and knocked Stoke’s sunglasses off his head.

Mr Gretton apologised and picked up the sunglasses but Stokes, of Ivy Court in Evesham, told him that they “needed to go outside to talk about it”.

At first, Mr Gretton did not think Stokes was being particularly aggressive and went outside with him.

Outside, Stokes, who had a history of violent offending, demanded £200 from Mr Gretton to repair the sunglasses who objected saying it would not cost that much to fix one lens.

Mr Gretton offered to meet Stokes at a repair shop to fix the glasses but he refused.

Miss Orton said: “He could not understand what was going on and had no memory of being hit.”

In hospital, it was feared Mr Gretton might have suffered a bleed on the brain but he was later discharged after doctors decided it was just a head injury.

Mr Gretton said he spent five days in bed and could not stay awake for longer than ten minutes at a time and could not eat properly.

Mr Gretton said he was suffering excruciating pain in his head - especially on his temple and the rear of his skull and was taken to an out-of-hours centre and back to hospital.

Doctors said Mr Gretton had suffered a ‘haemorrhagic contusion’ - a bruise on the brain - which had grown and changed shape.

Trevor Higginbotham, chairman of the bench, said the seriousness of the attack was beyond his powers of punishment.

Mr Gretton, who worked as a tree surgeon, could no longer be employed because of the fear of blacking out.

Barry Newton, defending, offered no objections.

Stokes will appear at Worcester Crown Court on July 20 for sentencing.