A WINCHESTER man has been spared jail after assaulting his girlfriend in an alcohol-fuelled rage.

Richard Mead, 25, was convicted after a trial of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on then-partner Sophie Dickinson and to affray in Winchester.

He was then sentenced at Portsmouth Crown Court on June 4.

The court heard that on June 21, 2019, Mead had been drinking at the King Charles pub, Kings Worthy, when he, Sophie and friends went back to her house in Maple Drive.

Before leaving the pub Mead, of Roundhuts Rise, Winnall, bought two bottles of Prosecco, but the night became violent when others did not want to drink.

Mead then tried to drive away and pushed Sophie to the ground when she tried to stop him. She suffered cuts and bruising to her right knee, along with bruising to her left leg, forehead and back of her hand. She also sustained a swollen right ankle, which was grazed.

The court also heard that Mead swung a bottle of Prosecco around like a 'club' and acted aggressively to anyone who tried to calm the situation, including his mother.

Before the sentence was given, Sophie told the hearing: "I had a few physical injuries, but I've also suffered from stress, anxiety and panic attacks. A doctor told me that I had post concussive symptoms and PTSD.

"It's difficult to put into words how the incident has impacted me as I never would have expected that from someone who I spent every day with. The thought of bumping into Rich makes me nervous and sick to the stomach.

"In today's society, I am a victim of domestic violence and I will have to disclose this information, which comes with its own stigma, to a new partner. I feel shame and guilt that I introduced Rich to my family as this has caused upset and I feel wholly responsible for this. I haven't forgiven him for what he did."

During the incident Mead was hit by Ethan Dickinson, Sophie's brother, with a golf club and suffered deep lacerations to his head. Ethan was arrested but released with no further action.

According to defence barrister Rose Burns, Mead spent a long time in hospital, suffered memory loss and had flashbacks to the incident.

Sophie added: "My brother had to do something not in his nature to defend himself which has caused him distress."

The court heard that since the incident, Mead, who has autism, started his own business repairing motocross bikes and has voluntarily attended alcohol therapy sessions.

Recorder David Chidgey handed Mead 20 months in jail, suspended for 18 months.

He said: "All witnesses in this trial went through an unpleasant experience because you weren't ready to admit what you had done. You know what Ms Dickinson got for doing the right thing? She got assaulted by you.

"But since what happened, you have done several things to better yourself. It is good to hear that over the past six months you have been serious about understanding alcohol use."

Mead must also spend 20 days in rehabilitation, complete 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £2,000 compensation to Sophie.