AN assault victim may permanently lose the hearing in one ear after being floored by a punch in Southampton city centre.

Christian Bradbury was sitting on a wall chatting to friends when Ian Howell approached and punched him in the face.

The force of the blow sent him crashing to the ground backwards and left him unconscious.

Howell then had to be restrained by Mr Bradbury’s friends from attacking him further before he walked off.

Prosecutor Siobhan Linsley told the city crown court that Mr Bradbury was rushed to intensive care with a fractured nose and a broken bone in the right temple as well as bleeding around the brain and in cavities around an ear.

He spent eight days in hospital and a medical report confirmed that it was unlikely he would regain the use of the injured ear.

After arrest, Howell would not answer questions when quizzed.

Howell, 36, of Glen Eyre Road, Southampton, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm and was jailed for three years.

Passing sentence, Judge Derwin Hope said that there had been some form of feud between the pair.

“I have no doubt you deliberately set out to target him and you assaulted him in a vicious way,” he said.

Endorsing the probation report that he represented a high risk to the public with a high likelihood of reconviction, he added: “There are extremely troubling concerns in your behaviour which you need to address.”

Howell received a seven-day concurrent sentence for breaching a 25-week suspended sentence imposed on three offences of failing to notify a change of circumstances and must pay a £120 community surcharge fee.

Mitigating, Matthew Jewell said that although there was likely to be some type of encounter between them, the offence had not been premeditated and he was remorseful.