A 54-YEAR-MAN was karate kicked in the head after he intervened to help a woman in a row with her boyfriend.

Brian Watkins was leaving a Hereford bingo hall when he saw Anthony Anderson grab the woman by the throat, Worcester Crown Court heard.

He ordered ex-soldier Anderson to stop - but was then subjected to a street attack.

Prosecutor Alistair Young said Anderson, trained in unarmed combat, karate kicked Mr Watkins to the ground, then landed more kicks as he lay helpless.

The vicious assault was witnessed by Mr Watkins's wife, a stroke victim, who had undergone two brain operations.

Anderson, aged 25, of Windswept Cottage, Little Birch, was jailed for 15 months. He admitted assault causing actual bodily harm.

The defendant was caught after Mrs Watkins ran to a nightclub and alerted bouncers who detained him. The victim's £200 glasses were damaged in the attack. He also needed five stitches to a cut chin.

Mr Stephen Dent, defending, said Anderson wanted to apologise for his behaviour. He had drunk seven pints of strong beer which 'knocked his head off'.

He claimed Mr Watkins was given a warning to mind his own business before the attack.

Anderson put his hand on his girlfriend's shoulder, he added, but had no intention of becoming violent. The couple were still together.

Assistant recorder Graham Cliff said Mr Watkins had behaved in a public-spirited way, but his reward was to be assaulted.