TWO "thugs" who launched a cowardly assault on a reveller in Rugeley were locked up by a judge.
Victim Jamie Thomas was punched, bitten on the ear and had his head kicked around "like a football", Stafford Crown Court heard.
When his girlfriend, Claire Mullin, tried to protect him, she was pushed and shoved by one of the attackers, Adam Maher.
But Nick Burn, prosecuting, said Maher and his pal Jake Lowe were jointly responsible for the injuries to Mr Thomas, who was knocked unconscious during the incident in Rugeley town centre on March 3 this year.
There had been a verbal confrontation between the couple and a group of lads including the defendants, but the assault happened as the couple were about to head for home in a taxi.
Maher, 20, of Wattfield Close, Rugeley was sent to youth custody for a total of 16 months after admitting assault causing actual bodily harm and common assault.
Lowe, 23, of Lodge Road, Rugeley, who admitted a single charge of assault causing actual bodily harm, was jailed for a year.
Recorder Marcus Tregilgas-Davey told them: "This was a cowardly group attack on a lone man. You could have killed that man.
"He was dragged across the floor by his legs, undoubtedly because he was unconscious and his ear was bitten. You both behaved like drunken thugs and you should be thoroughly ashamed of yourselves - on that evening you behaved like animals."
Mr Burn said Mr Thomas had only a vague recollection of what happened to him, but he has been left scarred on his ear and his hearing is now poor. In a victim impact statement he said he was now scared to go out in Rugeley and added: "I don't understand why they did what they did."
In her statement, Ms Mullin said she felt "sick" as she heard the blows thud in to her boyfriend. The couple have since split up and she suffers nightmares still about the attack.
Catherine O'Reilly, for Lowe, said the assault had not been premeditated - it was a spontaneous incident.
Elizabeth Power, for Maher, told the judge: "Their behaviour was despicable. They are both remorseful for it and recognise they have brought shame on their families."