A LOUT with a history of violence against women is back behind bars tonight (Monday, February 24) for attacking a neighbour during a brawl in the street.

James Stevenson fractured the woman's eye socket with a single punch - leaving her with nerve damage in her face and scarred for life.

The trouble erupted in Eleventh Street, Horden, County Durham, last October, Jonathan Walker, prosecuting told Teesside Crown Court.

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Stevenson later told police that he saw a friend involved in a fracas with a group of others and waded in to help, but ended up being slapped.

He thumped the woman in the face after he told her to stop swearing at him and swinging punches, his solicitor Martin Scarborough said.

In a statement, the victim said: "More than the physical damage is the emotional damage this has caused. I feel I have lost my confidence.

"Before this, I was outgoing and a very happy person. This has all changed as a result of this incident. I feel housebound to a degree."

Stevenson, of Twelfth Street, Horden, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm and was jailed for 12 months by Judge George Moorhouse.

The court heard he has a 19-page criminal record which includes attacks on ex-girlfriends in 2010 and 2011, when he was also convicted of harassment.

Mr Scarborough said: "He knows, at 23 years of age, he has to sort himself out otherwise all he will be doing is going through the revolving door of custody."

A report by a probation officer assessed Stevenson as a high risk of reoffending and revealed he had a poor record of complying with supervision.

Judge Moorhouse told him: "This was a very serious offence. You realise now you should have walked away from the situation, but you didn't."