David Mancini, of Severn Road, Acocks Green was ordered to pay £2,243.27 in 2003 for offences including actual bodily harm, theft and drugs.
Despite the courts wiping off almost £1,000 since then, the 45-year-old still owed £1,106.07.
Mancini told the courts he had been working in the meantime as a stage technician but the work had been patchy.
But he said from January 14, he would be employed “throughout the year”.
“Before this I was just going from contract to contract,” he told the court.
“I’m willing to pay this fine. I want to put all this behind me.”
The offender was given a 22 day prison sentence, suspended until the fine is completely paid, and was warned that if he missed even one payment, he would be arrested and taken to jail.
Mancini, who had appeared in custody on a fines warrant, thanked the magistrates for his sentence saying: “Thank you for not sending me to prison, it would have ruined my life.”