A MAN who carried out a “thuggish and disgraceful” attack on a pensioner in Burnham has been spared jail.

Scott Newby, 22, of Anchorage View, St Lawrence, punched 68-year-old Roger Perrin so hard that he was knocked out when he hit the floor.

The pensioner suffered a fractured eye socket, concussion, bruising and cuts after the incident at Burnham Train Station in March last year.

Newby appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday where Judge David Turner branded the attack “unjustified, unnecessary and inexcusable”.

He had initially denied charges of assault and grievous bodily harm.

However, following a trial at Chelmsford Magistrate’s Court he was found guilty of both charges in February.

The court heard Mr Perrin had approached Newby and a group of youths on March 24.

He asked if any of them knew the person who had assaulted his son during a previous incident a few weeks prior.

Newby claimed Mr Perrin was accusing him of beating his son and became angry, before punching him as he walked away.

The court heard Newby had undergone several sessions of counselling since the incident happened to help manage his anger and that he had written an apology to Mr Perrin.

Sentencing Newby, David Turner said: “On March 24 you carried out the kind of thuggish and disgraceful attack that every member of the community fears.

“This was unjustified, unnecessary and inexcusable.

It was in a public place, and was a disgraceful overreaction which resulted in you delivering a disgracefully thuggish blow to a 68-year-old man which left him unconscious.

“I have been made aware of the efforts you have made since the incident to improve your anger management and you have been able to secure full time work after a two-year period of unemployment, which makes me hesitant to pass a custodial sentence.

"It is a shame however you felt the need to deny the charges with such a weak defence which saw a full trial take place.”

Newby was handed an eight month prison sentence suspended for two years.

He must complete 200 hours of unpaid work, 30 hours of a rehabilitation course and pay £1,000 compensation to Mr Perrin plus £365 of costs.