A shop worker said last night he felt lucky to be alive after a man stamped on his head in a "brutal and unprovoked" attack.

James O'Brien and Charles Bough punched and kicked Arthur Read unconscious at Carfax, Oxford, before O'Brien stamped twice on his head as he lay bleeding on the pavement.

Yesterday, the pair hung their heads in shame as CCTV footage of the attack was played to Oxford Crown Court.

They were both jailed for two years and ordered to pay Mr Read £1,500 in compensation.

Their family and friends gasped from the public gallery as they watched the CCTV footage being plaed.

Last night Mr Read, 20, said he could not face seeing it himself because he heard it was so distressing. He also did not want it released to the public.

He said: "They just attacked me for no reason. They could have killed me.

"I have heard it was absolutely brutal - horrific."

Mr Read spent several hours in a coma and suffered bleeding to the brain.

He said he still had headaches, confusion and memory loss as a result of the attack and was now scared to go out in Oxford.

He added: "I am angry how someone can go out and have a few drinks and kick the living daylights out of someone."

Clare Tucker, prosecuting, said O'Brien, of Wingate Close, Blackbird Leys, Oxford, and Bough, of Sandy Lane, Oxford, had spent the evening drinking.

She said: "They were milling around a taxi rank when O'Brien became annoyed, possibly to do with the fact they had not been able to get a taxi.

"James O'Brien then marched up to the complainant who was standing by a taxi and threw a punch and a kick at him.

"Bough went over to kick the complainant who was on the ground.

"O'Brien then kicked him and punched him repeatedly in the head.

"O'Brien then stamped on his head twice before being pulled off by another member of the public."

The court heard Mr Read had been forced to take three months off work after the attack.

Jennifer Edwards, defending O'Brien, said: "This is a young man who behaved on that occasion in such an out of character way."

Peter Coombe, defending Bough, a trainee electrician, said: "When he saw the video he was clearly distressed and started crying. That underlines the remorse he feels."

The pair, both 21, admitted wounding with intent.

Sentencing them, Judge Julian Hall said: "Watching the video was distressing for you, it was quite clearly distressing for the people in the public gallery and it was distressing for me.

"The pair of you - decent hard working men, with much too much to drink and having taken drugs as well - altered the life forever of another man by stamping on his head when he was down.

"If he died that would have been murder. What you did will live with him forever."

Speaking after the case, Dc Mark Lacey, said: "It was an unprovoked attack - luckily members of the public stepped in and prevented it from getting worse."