A FORMER pub chef who lost his livelihood after a random attack has spoken of the difficulty of putting his life back together. Ravi Dalal, 32, was in a coma for six weeks following the attack outside The Crown in Woodstock where he worked.

Doctors told him he was lucky to be alive but an operation to remove bleeding on his brain cost him his sense of taste and smell so he can no longer work as a chef.

He had worked in the Crown since October 2010 before the assault on January 30, 2011.

Eighteen months later Mr Dalal has struggled to find employment to replace his chosen career. Mr Dalal suffered three bleeds on the brain and spent six weeks in Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital before spending a further two months at the city’s Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre He said: “I don’t actually remember anything.

“The thing I find really disgusting is that I am 32-years-old, I have been cheffing for 10 years and now I have to rearrange my whole life and career which is not so easy when you are 32.

“I don’t understand why it happened. It just seems random.

“You don’t just go up to someone and hit them for no good reason.”

But his attacker, Samuel Smith – who at the time lived at The Feathers Inn in the town – could be released from prison as early as next January.

Smith, from Hereford, who was 20 at the time of the attack, was jailed for three and a half years at Oxford Crown Court in June last year after admitting causing grievous bodily harm.

He was also given six months in prison for actual bodily harm for assaulting 28-year-old Paul Murray outside the Lava club in Park End Street, Oxford, in December 2010.

Mr Dalal said it was “disgusting” that Smith could be out by the new year as the judge took into account the time he spent on remand for the offence.

He added: “Considering how close I was to dying and he gets four years and could be out in two — it doesn’t seem right.”

Now unemployed, Mr Dalal is living with his parents in Epsom, Surrey. He is now trying to work as a photographer.

Det Con Robert Hughes said: “The victim was subjected to a nasty unprovoked assault in which he suffered life-threatening injuries.

“These injuries have had a massive impact on both him and his family and has put them under tremendous strain.

“Just one drunken punch or kick can have potentially devastating consequences and can easily ruin the lives of the victim and the offender.”