A THUG who left a man in a coma dramatically changed his plea and admitted he was responsible for the New Year’s Day attack.

Alexander Hunter, 21, knocked Jonny Smith unconscious when he hit Mr Smith with a bottle in St Botolph’s Street, Colchester.

Mr Smith, 25, a landscaper and dad-of-one, was in a coma for weeks and is still recovering from the severe skull fractures.

Hunter initially denied the attack, but on the second day of his trial at Ipswich Crown Court he changed his plea.

Prosecutors were yesterday preparing to show video footage of the incident, on New Year’s Day at 2am.

It is understood the evidence might have prompted Hunter’s admission.

Hunter, of Colne Way, Point Clear, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and was remanded in custody for sentencing on July 14. Mr Smith’s mum, Sue, 52, said: “I am pleased Hunter has changed his plea.

“He knows he is going to get a lighter sentence.

“But Jonny is pretty pleased at the moment.”

Mr Smith spent two weeks in an induced coma, but eventually came around and called out his baby Ella’s name.

He spent six weeks in hospital, with his family by his bedside. His uncle said: “We thought he was going to die.

If you saw him now and at that stage, he has come a long way.

But he is unable to work or drive.”

Mr Smith has regained his speech and has mobility but suffers short-termmemory loss.

He was not well enough to provide police with a statement.

His employers have kept his job open for him.

See today's Gazette.