A PROLIFIC shoplifter hit a woman in the face with a can of Special Brew during a "tug of war".

Jan Hansen made for the doorway of a Co-op store "without making any attempt to pay".

The 38-year-old had a "four-pack of special brew" in his hand when three members of staff barred his way at the supermarket in Lower Northam Road, Hedge End.

A "tug of war" between them and Hansen ensued during the incident at around 7.20pm on September 3 this year.

Amid the ruckus he "struck a female employee to the face with one can of beer", a court.

Prosecution barrister Natasha Dardashti told how Hansen's victim immediately felt a lot of pain.

And, when "she felt fluid from her nose she realised she was bleeding".

Hansen is said to have made off with a single can of beer but was arrested a short time later.

During a police interview, he claimed he was trying to leave the store with "his property".

He appeared before Southampton Crown Court on Tuesday charged with robbery to which he previously pleaded guilty.

The court heard that a Co-op employee recognised Hansen when he entered as "somebody who regularly shoplifts".

He is said to have asked for special brew and then went to the baby aisle looking for baby formula.

Ms Dardashti told the court how Hansen has 32 convictions for 60 offences - with a "large amount for shoplifting", and a number of public order offences including affray.

Defence barrister Andy Houston said that his client had descended into drink and drugs.

Despite Hansen being supported by his mother, she won't let him live with her.

Furthermore, Mr Houston argued his client did not strike the woman intentionally.

Mr Recorder Don Tait jailed him for 16 months.