A THUG with a string of previous convictions for fraud, theft, drug and weapon offences has been sent to prison for a late-night drunken attack where he punched a man in the face.

Billy Wiltshire, of Sandyfields Lane, appeared at Winchester Crown Court charged with two counts of actual bodily harm and one count of assault by beating.

A trial started on Monday, June 13 and lasted for three days.

Wiltshire, who denied all charges, was found guilty of actual bodily harm to James Clarke.

He was also found not guilty of causing actual bodily harm to his ex-partner Paige Hicks and of assault by beating to Christopher Doy.

The incident followed a booze-fuelled night out in Winchester, which saw Wiltshire drink at several pubs in the city centre, before it descended into an argument with Miss Hicks.

When Mr Clarke stumbled upon the row, Wiltshire attacked him.

READ MORE: Billy Wiltshire accused of assaulting three people in Winchester, court hears as trial starts at Winchester Crown Court

Judge Susan Evans QC said: “This was an alcohol-fuelled crime. It was an unprovoked attack."

She sentenced Wiltshire to 20 weeks in prison and ordered him to pay £500 in compensation to Mr Clarke.

She also said the severity of the sentence was due to Wiltshire having 13 previous convictions including fraud, theft, drug and weapon offences.

The incident took place in the early hours of January 29 in St James' Terrace, following 27-year-old Wiltshire drinking in Winchester city centre with Miss Hicks.

After initially leaving to go home, Miss Hicks, who said she could not remember much of the evening, then called Wiltshire.

Mr Doy had been on a night out and was walking home alone when he saw them arguing.

Mr Doy said: “I heard loud, aggressive language. I expected it to be guys fighting, but then I heard a female voice crying.

“I decided I couldn't just walk off. I thought he would calm down. He started to power down the road towards me, which surprised me."

SEE ALSO: Jury out on the trial of Colden Common man Billy Wiltshire at Winchester Crown Court

Mr Clarke, who had also been on a night out in the city centre, came across the incident and after asking if the girl was ok, Wiltshire shouted 'oi you' and then hit him.

He said: "This caught me off guard. He punched me in the face and elbow.”

Wiltshire gave evidence and described Miss Hicks as being 'extremely drunk'. She called him asking for a lift, but he was too drunk and would get her a taxi. However by the time he got to her, he was angry and an argument erupted.

He said: "One lad came over as she was upset. He grabbed hold of her, so then I punched him."

In the cross-examination, Wiltshire told Robert Welling, prosecuting, that: "All I can remember is punching one person.

"If I was sober, I would have pushed him, not punched him."

He was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison.

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