A TENANT who attacked his landlord, punching him 15 times and kicking him on the ground, has avoided a jail sentence.
Gary Elverstone launched the sustained attack when Nathan Williamson called at his home in Seahorse Walk, Gosport.
Mr Williamson, who owned the house Elverstone and his partner Deborah Walsh rented, turned up on the doorstep at midnight, demanding to know why the 48-year-old had evicted another tenant, Matthew Peak, from the property.
Mr Williamson was annoyed because Elverstone was due to leave the property the next day anyway and he thought his outgoing tenant had thrown Mr Peak out to spite him.
As the pair rowed Elverstone struck out, punching Mr Williamson in the face and then repeatedly hitting him. The 32-year-old was left covered in bruises, with a suspected broken rib, and needed stitches to cuts below his left eye and lip.
Elverstone, now of Dukes Road, Gosport, was arrested and told police he had punched Mr Williamson ‘about 15 times’.
He also admitted kicking him on the ground.
But when the case went to court he denied the charge of assault causing actual bodily harm, claiming he was drunk when he made his confession.
A jury at Portsmouth Crown Court rejected his story and found him guilty after a trial.
The court heard Elverstone has numerous previous convictions but had no record of violence until the attack last September.
Sentencing him Recorder Nicholas Haggan QC said: ‘There was a heated argument at the door.
‘During the course of that argument you suddenly punched Mr Williamson to the head at least twice.
‘You punched Mr Williamson several times even after he had fallen and was lying defenceless on the floor.
‘In your police interview you estimated you had struck Mr Williamson 15 times.’
The judge said he accepted there had been some provocation from Mr Williamson, who insulted Elverstone and his partner during the row.
But he said: ‘This clearly was a sustained assault on the victim.
‘The most significant feature is the ongoing effect upon the victim who suffered a real loss of confidence as a result of the attack and has a scar that reminds of the events that night.’
He handed him a 12-month sentence suspended for two years.
Unemployed Elverstone has to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.
Recorder Haggan did not order Elverstone to pay compensation because he can not afford it.