Two men who carried out a violent racist attack on a Midland commuter have been jailed for 18 months.
Jagpal Pritam Singh, a 22-year-old electrician, of Charlotte Road, Wednesbury, was sentenced by Judge Phillip Gregory at Birmingham Crown Court, after pleading guilty to charges of racially aggravated assault and possession of a controlled substance.
His 20-year-old shop assistant friend Balvinder Hunjan Singh, of Brian Road, Smethwick, also pleaded guilty to the same charges and common assault. He will serve his sentence in a young offenders' institution.
Glyn Price-Rowlands, for the prosecution, told the court how CCTV cameras recorded the attack on 47-year-old Brian May on August 18, 2006 at about 9.20pm.
Mr May had been on his way home to Wolverhampton from his job in Derby, when the attack happened in the stationary tram at Birmingham's Snow Hill station.
Mr Price-Rowlands said Pritam Singh sat close to Mr May, making him feel as if he was being pushed next to the window.
When Mr May told them he was being pushed, Hunjan swore at him and asked him what was wrong with him.
All three men stood up and the victim grabbed the two defendants. They all then fell onto another seat as the victim released them. After putting him in a head lock, the two defendants kicked and punched Mr Hall.
"A tram conductor who tried to intervene was also slightly injured when he was hit in the face," Mr Price-Rowlands said. "Fortunately, a member of the public came to the aid of the victim. The defendants left the tram moments later only to re-board it and commence their attack on the victim.
"The victim was bleeding profusely. He suffered extensive bruising and clearly quite a lot of blood was shed.
"Certainly one of the witnesses seeing this was fearful that more serious injuries would be sustained and was quite surprised in the end when the injuries were not as serious as thought."
he added witnesses told the police that the two defendants shouted racist abuse and chants including "Asian power".
Both defendants later admitted to being drunk at the time of the incident.
Judge Gregory described the assault as "a vicious and prolonged attack".
"Jagpal held him down and you Hunjan punched and kicked him and you kept on that attack.
"You broke off to leave the tram and got back on to resume that attack on him. So bad was the attack that witnesses thought you would kill him.
"This is inexcusable for both of you and only a custodial sentence is justified." Speaking after the case, Chief Inspector Allan Gregory, the British Transport Police sector commander for the West Midlands, said: "What comes across particularly strong is if you look at the CCTV footage, you can see the victim sustained an unprovoked and pretty vicious assault.
"That would have been awful to watch, whether you were passengers or members of staff, never mind the poor victim.
"This sends a strong message about Centro and Travel Midland Metro, who have both put in a significant investment into a quality CCTV system, which resulted in compelling footage, which assisted in the prosecution.
"I think the 18 months sentences are a reflection of the seriousness of it, bearing in mind you are talking about young men."