A WOMAN was almost knocked unconscious during a sustained assault outside a pizza shop.

Jessica James, 36, attacked Henrietta Burrowes outside Pan Pizza in Gloucester Road in Ross-on-Wye in the early hours of the morning on March 10 last year.

She pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was sentenced to a community order at Hereford Crown Court last week.

Miss Burrowes' 22-year-old boyfriend Jack Wright pleaded guilty to affray and having an offensive weapon in a public place and was also sentenced.

The court heard that James of Woodedge, Ross, went out drinking to excess in Ross and earlier in the evening on March 10 there was a verbal altercation between her and Wright.

Peter Grice, prosecuting, said Wright and Miss Burrowes later went to Pan Pizza in the early hours of the morning and joined a queue which also contained James.

This led to James' assault on Miss Burrowes.

Mr Grice said: "James grabbed her hair, dragged her outside, put her on the pavement and was punching and kicking her and gouging at her face with her fingers. Miss Burrowes almost passed out."

Meanwhile, Wright of High Street, Ross displayed aggressive behaviour towards others and had to be restrained.

He then walked the short distance to his home before returning with a hammer but he dropped the hammer on the ground before arriving back at the scene.

Miss Burrowes sustained bruises and 30 superficial scratches on her face, right clavicle and upper chest.

James had a previous conviction in 2012 of drunk and disorderly.

Jason Aris, defending James, said she had two children, aged nine and 17, worked part time as an office manager and also volunteered at a charity shop once a week.

Mr Turner, defending Wright, said he is an apprentice bricklayer who had been praised by his employer. He lived in stable accommodation, is in a stable relationship with Miss Burrowes and had a stable job.

Judge Daniel Pearce-Higgins QC said: "At the bottom of this is alcohol." He said a lot of time and money is spent to deal with the issue of drugs because they are illegal, but almost the greater harm is the abuse of alcohol, which is legal.

James was given a community order for 24 months, ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work, complete 20 rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR) days and is banned from on-licensed premises for six months.

Wright was given a community order for 12 months, to include a thinking skills programme and 15 RAR days. He is banned from on-licensed premises for four months.