AN ATTACKER who repeatedly hit a man with a dumbbell believing he had made remarks to a member of his family has been jailed.

Warren Mason, of Printers Row, Winchester, had been drinking on October 15 last year following the death of his father when he was told that someone had made comments to relative.

Winchester Crown Court was told on Wednesday last week that the 33-year-old “took matters into his own hands” going out to find the man – armed with a dumbbell.

Tom Wilkins, prosecuting, said Mason found the victim Kevin Hobbs, who matched the description given to him.

“He pursued him to a bus on Jewry Street, there was then a sustained repeated assault involving the use of the item [dumbbell]. That left the victim bleeding severely,” Mr Wilkins continued.

“Eyewitnesses speak of a pool of blood on the bus next to where he [Mr Hobbs] was sitting.”

Paramedics were called and Mr Hobbs was taken to Southampton Hospital with head injuries, but he discharged himself before he was treated, so the extent of his injuries are not known.

The court heard that Mr Hobbs had not cooperated with police during the investigation.

Defending, Barry McElduff said death of his client's father had affected his behaviour, but “plainly two wrongs in anyway don’t make a right”.

Mr McElduff argued that due to the current coronavirus pandemic a prison sentence would be a “heavy burden”, adding: “At the moment they will be in virtual lockdown in Victorian squalor.”

He added that custody would have an impact on Mason’s family as he helps his mother who his recovering from breast cancer and plays “an active role” in the lives of his four children.

Mason pleased guilty to the assault occasioning actual bodily harm and possessing an offensive weapon in a public place at an earlier hearing.

The offence is his 20th conviction, with the court hearing he has a bad track record for complying with court orders.

In jailing Mason for 16 months, Her Honour Judge Jane Miller said: “You went on the bus, to the back of the bus were the victim was sitting and you struck him a number of times to the head with this dumbbell bar.

“The victim was unconscious for something like 10 minutes.”

Judge Miller added that Mason’s “temper was a problem” despite reports from Inclusion, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation service, stating that he had never shown violent behaviour when with them.