A MAN who was the victim of a vicious unprovoked attack said he is lucky to be alive after he was smashed in the face with a plank of wood.

Tomas Gil said he has been left frightened when going out after Daniel Way took a piece of wood and hit him around the face in the early hours of May 19.

As previously reported, Mr Gil, 27, was talking to his girlfriend in his native language - Spanish - when Way took exception to his victim.

After telling him to “speak English” he yanked a plank of wood from the Bravo takeaway building, at Old Christchurch Road, and proceeded to hit Mr Gil. The incident, Mr Gil said, left him with serious injuries.

“He almost killed me,” Mr Gil said, speaking to the Daily Echo from his home in Valencia. “If he had hit me a little higher up I might be dead.”

Speaking about the compensation Way was ordered to pay, he added: “I don’t think £800 is enough. It’s not right. I don’t know if something is going to happen to me the next time I go out to a party.”

Mr Gil said it was a shame Way wasn’t immediately imprisoned as it would have “given him some time to think” about his actions.

“When I see him behind bars maybe then I’ll be happy,” he said.

Mr Gil said, after the incident, he was not able to eat for five days and took a full two weeks to recover.

A video released by Dorset Police showed Mr Gil’s girlfriend trying to defend her boyfriend from 37-year-old Way.

Way, of Albert Road in Poole, was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 15 months, after he pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault occasioning actual bodily harm and criminal damage. He was also ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and participate in 25 rehabilitation activity days.

Mr Gil was working in Bournemouth at the time of the attack. He claims he was not even aware that the court case had gone ahead until he read about it on the Daily Echo’s website.

Judge Brian Forster called Way’s offending “totally unacceptable”.

Despite screaming at his victim “******** Spanish, speak in English”, Way claimed he was not racist. He was detained by members of the public who witnessed the assault before police arrived.