A MAN who attacked two men in Winchester he mistakenly thought were molesting his girlfriend has narrowly avoided a prison sentence.

Simon Downes, 34, launched a violent attack on the two men in the city centre, a court heard.

One of the victims suffered a fractured skull when his head hit the pavement.

Downes, of St Martins Close, Barfoot St Martin, near Salisbury, admitted the two assaults.

The judge, Mr Recorder Simon Foster said he had mistakenly thought the men were causing problems for his girlfriend.

He jailed him for a year but suspended it for 24 months.

He also ordered Downes to do 200 hours’ community service and pay £1,000 compensation with a £100 victim surcharge.