Luke Wood struck the victim so hard with the weapon that his victim’s ear was “cut in half”
A court heard how a child who witnessed the violence was physically sick because she was so shocked.
Victim Kevin Joy had to have a piece of cartilage removed from his ear and need 25 stitches to the wound following the incident outside the Whinney Moor pub, Horbury Road, Wakefield, on June 29 last year.
Leeds Crown Court heard how self-employed plumber Mr Joy went to the pub for a drink after work and was attacked as he left.
Kathryn Stuckey, prosecuting, said Mr Joy was aware of someone shouting at him before he was struck with the thick end of the cue. He was knocked to the ground and felt dazed.
Mr Joy got to his feet in panic and ran a short distance but Wood followed and struck him twice more with the weapon as he was on the ground.
The court heard Wood hit him so hard that the cue snapped in two after it made contact with his head.
Passers-by who saw the attack stopped Wood from carrying out further violence. After the attack, Mr Joy said he recognised Wood from doing plumbing work for him in the past.
Wood, of Potter Avenue, Lupset, Wakefield, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent and possession of an offensive weapon.
He has previous convictions for handling stolen goods, vehicle theft, vehicle offences, possessing drugs and possessing an offensive weapon.
James Littlehales, mitigating, said Wood had no previous convictions for violence and had pleaded guilty to the offences at an early stage.
Jailing Wood, judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, said: “The victim thought he may have been killed or very seriously injured.
“The aggravating features are that this was a public place, others were present and one person was physically sick at seeing what you did.
“I am satisfied that you had an intention to cause more serious harm than you did cause.”