THREE men attacked a stranger who punched one of them in the face while they waited in line in a South Tyneside chip shop.
Dillon Jackson’s jaw was broken by the unprovoked punch – so he and pals Andrew Sinclair and Sam Wright chased the man down Ocean Road, South Shields.
They followed him into a side street where they launched a series of punches and kicks at him.
At that point, police officers turned up and arrested the trio.
Jackson and Sinclair, both 20, and Wright, 19, pleaded guilty to a joint charge of using threatening behaviour at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
The other man was not arrested for punching Jackson.
Claire Ward, prosecuting, said: “The three defendants were in a chip shop in Ocean Road when a man approached them and punched Jackson in the face once, fracturing his jaw.
“He required surgery and now has a metal plate in his jaw.
“Police didn’t see that happen, but did see the three defendants chasing him into a side street, where they punched and kicked him to the ground.”
David Forrester, defending, said: “These three young men were minding their own business.
“They had been drinking a little bit, which meant they were a little less rational than perhaps they should have been.
“It ended up with one of them eating soup through a straw for a month.
“There was no significant injury caused to the other person, but they accept they went beyond what was reasonable.
“What they should have done was go to the police, but they decided to exact their own retribution.”
Jackson, of Cloister Walk, Jarrow, was given a 12-month community order with 40 hours of unpaid work.
Sinclair, of Auckland Avenue, South Shields, was fined £450.
Wright, of Canterbury Way, Fellgate, Jarrow, was given a 12-month community order, with 36 hours in an attendance centre. All three were ordered to pay £150 costs.