A factory worker beat up a fellow tenant at their digs after ransacking his room because he suspected he had stolen money from him, Southampton Crown Court heard.

No sooner had Jevgeni Zaterin opened the front door, than Piotr Sajka punched him in the face.

Though he tried to shield the blows, he was head-butted and kicked.

Prosecutor Quinton Newcomb said the assault then moved from the corridor to the kitchen where he was felled by further punches, before it ended up in the garden shed where Mr Zaterin was grabbed by the throat and repeatedly hit with piping.

While he was on the floor, Sajka removed his wallet and took out £100, snarling: “If this situation happens again, either I or my dog will kill you.”

Mr Zaterin then went to his room at the house in Denzil Avenue where he found the front door had been forced, the lock broken and the place ransacked.

Both men went to hospital. Sajka had injured his fist while his victim had suffered a cut lip, facial bruising and tenderness to his nose.

Sajka, 31, admitted theft, occasioning actual bodily harm and criminal damage, for which he was jailed for 15 months and told to pay Mr Zaterin £350 in compensation for his injuries and damage.

David Jenkins, defending said Sajka, believed his victim had stolen from him and had taken the law into his own hands.