A SOUTHAMPTON man unleashed a “sustained attack” on a female victim, punching her “five times in the face” before attempting to drag her into his car.

Sean William Hammond was also accused of headbutting his victim – a claim he denied.

The 52-year-old said the argument broke out because he believed she had stolen money from him.

He then “saw red” and unleashed a physical attack on his victim.

Appearing at Southampton Magistrates Court Hammond was given a 20-week suspended prison sentence.

The court heard how the attack took place as Hammond was returning from a holiday in April last year.

He saw his victim outside his home in Meredith Towers, Thornhill, and accused her of stealing money.

Prosecutor Liam Hunter said: “He punched her several times in the face.

"He headbutted her and grabbed her by the back of the neck.”

Mr Hunter later read out a victim impact statement, in which the victim described Hammond as “scum”.

Mr Hunter said: “The victim said that what Hammond did to her was really distressing and it impacted her mental health every day.”

David Storey, defending, said his client denied punching and headbutting his victim.

Mr Hammond said he was attempting to restrain his victim in order to take her to the police station.

Mr Storey said Hammond had not worked for a number of years due to arthritis.

He added: "He understands this is a serious incident and he deserves any punishment the court gives to him.”

Hammond was found guilty of one count of assault by beating.

As well as a suspended sentence, District Judge Peter Greenfield imposed a four-month curfew, banning him from leaving the house between 6pm and 6am.

He also ordered him to complete 20 rehabilitation requirement days and pay court costs of £900, a victim surcharge of £150 and £300 in compensation.