A SOUTHAMPTON man has been jailed for 30 months following a sexual assault and spate of thefts.

Rashpal Sanghera was having his beard trimmed when he sexually assaulted the the female hairdresser.

Southampton Crown Court heard how Sanghera - who appeared via video link - chased his victim around the barbershop. When the 36-year-old forced himself on her she used a rolled-up magazine to fend him off.

“Watch out what happens to you” were the words he used to threaten her as he left.

Prosecutor Robert Welling said she was alone at the time and was left scared and distressed.

Sanghera of Lingwood Close was arrested and released under investigation. A month later he was pulled over on The Avenue while driving his BMW. A test found traces of benzoylecgonine - a breakdown product of cocaine - and cocaine in his system.

With 29 existing convictions to his name, he went on to steal a charity tin from Sam’s Chicken Takeaway in Shirley High Street and another from Moby Dick fish and chip shop in Church Street, Shirley on January 27.

Sanghera was later found in possession of a bank card stolen from a student, used to pay off £770.21 of drug debts across Southampton, Eastleigh and Winchester.

While at the McColls store in Bedford Place - Sanghera lunged across the counter and stole four scratch cards while days later, he and a friend stole alcohol worth £115 from Sainsbury’s in Leigh Road, Eastleigh.

He then failed to appear at court for the sexual assault offence but was found guilty in his absence on March 16.

He was finally arrested on March 24 this year.

At previous hearings he had been found guilty of the sexual assault and admitted three thefts, one fraud, one burglary and one count of driving under the influence of drugs

Chris Gager, defending said Sanghera had plans to change and was stuck in a vicious circle of drug abuse.

However, he repeatedly abused Judge Christopher Parker as he was sentenced to 30-months in prison - of which he will serve half.

Sanghera was also disqualified from driving for two years which will start when he is released - minus six weeks for time spent in custody.