A DRUNK man punched a customer in the face outside a pub after staff took a bottle of vodka from the defendant when he fell asleep inside.

John Thorne had been drinking in the Bluebell Inn in Barnard's Green, Malvern but fell asleep inside the pub with a bottle of vodka beside him.

When the 30-year-old woke up at closing time he discovered his bottle of vodka had been removed and became 'agitated', punching Liam Cooper in the chin after he tried to get him away from the pub and also punching out glass panels in the pub door.

The 30-year-old of Rectory Lane, Madresfield, admitted assault by beating and criminal damage when he appeared before magistrates in Worcester on Thursday.

Kerry Lovegrove, prosecuting, said Thorne was asleep at one of the tables and it came to the attention of the manager that he had been drinking from a bottle of vodka brought into the pub by the defendant before the incident on November 28 last year.

Miss Lovegrove said Thorne, who was told the pub was closing, 'became agitated about the fact his bottle of vodka has been taken away from him'.

She said Mr Cooper had been trying to assist in moving the defendant away from the pub. Thorne punched panes of glass in the pub door, smashing them and Mr Cooper intervened and tried to push him away.

"It's then he has been punched to his chin, causing pain to his lip. He (Thorne) makes further threats about smashing further windows before police arrive and he is arrested" said Miss Lovegrove.

In police interview Thorne said he was 'nine out of 10' on a scale of drunkenness.

"He struggles to recall what happened that evening" said Miss Lovegrove.

Thorne accepted punching two windows and had injuries to his hand.

The victim said he had been trying to help the defendant. He had blood on the inside of his lip but did not require medical attention.

Thorne, who represented himself at the hearing, said his actions were out of character. "I deal with anxiety and stress. I hope it doesn't happen again" he said.

Magistrates, who described the incident as 'unpleasant', gave him full credit for his early guilty plea. They fined him £40 for the assault and £40 for the criminal damage. He must also pay compensation of £50 to Mr Cooper and a further £50 for the damage to the glass.