A MAN battered three clubbers during a “moment of madness” while they danced in a Southampton nightclub because them bumped into him.

Conor Betteridge left one of his victims, Stanley Draper, hospitalised with an 8cm cut on his cheek after the group knocked him on the dancefloor at Junk, in London Road, at around 3am on December 2.

Mr Draper’s friends Jake Whittaker and Josh Weaver sustained cuts and swollen eyes during the “repeated” attack by the 22-year-old.

Southampton Magistrates’ Court heard that Betteridge, who had one previous caution for battery, had been dancing but was bumped into by the group of friends.

Natalie Angel, prosecuting, said: “Mr Draper intervened and he and Betteridge both placed hands on each.

“The next moment Betteridge repeatedly punched Mr Draper’s left side of his face.

“His friends tried to stop the situation but also got hit by him.

“Staff at the club got involved but Betteridge managed to get away, however he was found by them later in the club and arrested by police.”

She added: “Mr Draper’s cheek was glued up while he was in hospital following the incident.”

Betteridge pleaded guilty to one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two counts of assault by beating.

Mitigating, Richard Harris, said Betteridge wanted to “let loose” during the night due to his home life.

He said: “Everyone involved had been in drink, the victims as well.

“That does not give them the right to be assaulted and I do not suggest that they acted inappropriately.”

Mr Harris added: “This is his first time before the courts and he will learn his lessons.”

Betteridge, of Redlands Drive, Bitterne, was given an 18-month community order, which included attending 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days and carrying out 150 hours of unpaid work.

Magistrates ordered Betteridge to pay £200 compensation to Mr Draper as he “could have lost his sight” and £100 to the other two victims.