A TEEN who stripped and beat a friend before leaving him outside on New Year's Day has escaped a jail term.
Rune Christopher Gates teamed up with Michael Lindsay to attack 19-year-old Darren McCubbing in Ellesmere Port.
Three months later, Darren was murdered by 17-year-old Lindsay, who earlier this month was jailed for 12 years.
Chester Crown Court heard Gates, 18, formerly of the Port, was not involved in the murder.
Yesterday he was given two years' probation and 60 hours' community service after admitting affray on January 1.
Prosecutor Simon Mills said Darren, Lindsay and Gates, who now lives in Sandhurst Avenue, Blackpool, had all been drinking in the grounds of Stanney High School on New Year's Eve.
They went to the Wolverham playing fields where Darren was rugby-tackled by Gates and Lindsay, who stripped him down to his socks.
At 1.50am Darren was found naked in a front garden in Pem-bridge Gardens by a lady who covered him with a blanket.
When ambulance crews arrived, he was frothing at the mouth and suffering hypothermia. His temperature had dropped to 27.8° - it should have been 36.8°.
He was warmed and given oxygen. He quickly recovered and was released from hospital.
Mr Mills said witnesses saw Gates and Lindsay together at 2.30am 'in high spirits and laughing'.
Defending, Peter Moss said: 'What started as drunken consensual tomfoolery developed into extreme bullying.'
He said Gates had no intention of injuring Darren and they had remained on good terms after the incident.
Mr Moss said Gates has 'turned himself around' and is now an apprentice plumber.
The judge, the Honourable Mr Justice Curtis, told him: 'If I was dealing with you shortly after the offence you'd have gone to prison, but you have changed.'