Court reporter Ted Davenport writes for the Herald.

A drunken attacker has been jailed after he was filmed pummelling a completely innocent passer-by who was waiting at a bus stop.

Michael Holland had been on a day out in Axminster when he saw the victim standing by the Monument in The Square and launched the unprovoked assault.

The two men knew each other and exchanged a few words before Holland walked away but he turned back and punched him in the face without warning. The CCTV footage showed him punching him again and again and carrying after he fell to the ground.

Holland has a record for violence which included a previous assault and setting his dog on police in his home town of Honiton. He was in breach of two different suspended sentences.

The attack in Axminster happened two weeks before Christmas and the victim wrote an impact statement saying his partner and family had been upset by seeing his face, which was still badly bruised during the celebrations.

Holland, aged 30, of Langford Avenue, Honiton, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and was jailed for a total of a year and three months by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court.

He told him: “You attacked him with no warning or provocation and punched him repeatedly in the face. He fell unconscious at one stage after you repeatedly punched him to the head and upper body.

“There were some breaks in the violence when you broke off before returning to deliver further blows. It was only when you saw other people watching, and one of them possibly filming, that you stopped and diverted your aggression towards the bystanders.

“You suffer from a depressive disorder, social anxiety and self-reported PTSD. Your behaviour can be impulsive, especially when exacerbated by drugs or alcohol. I must conclude that your mental health problems played a part in this otherwise inexplicable offence.”

Miss Felicity Payne, prosecuting, said the victim was waiting either for a bus or for a lift home in The Square in Axminster at around 6 pm on December 11 last year when he was attacked for no reason as he stood on the steps of the Monument.

CCTV showed the entire attack in which Holland, dressed in a hoodie, went straight up and punched the victim,  before resuming. The victim suffered such severe bruising to his face that he needed hospital treatment. He said his injuries remained visible two weeks later and spoiled his Christmas. He now lives in fear of seeing Holland again.

Miss Laila Jhaveri, defending, said Holland suffers from a range of mental issues and has had problems with drug and alcohol abuse since he was a teenager.

He is very sorry for his actions and has started taking courses, including anger management, during the five months he has been in custody at Exeter Prison. He is also off heroin and on a reducing dose of the substitute heroin.