Carlisle Crown Court has heard how two men punched and kicked a third man in an alley in the city, leaving him unconscious.
Alan Clarke had made a comment to Alexander Sisson, 21, and 20-year-old Sam Feddon, and soon afterwards an argument developed into a fight.
Sisson started punching Mr Clarke and Feddon, initially a peacemaker, then joined the fight.
After hearing submissions in mitigation, Judge James Adkin handed sentences of eight months to Sisson, of Easton, near Longtown, and 10 months to Feddon, of Broomfallen Road, Scotby, with both jail terms suspended.
He also ordered night-time curfews and that each of the men pay Mr Clarke £1,000 compensation.