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A MAN has narrowly avoided an immediate prison sentence for beating a woman.

Andrew Lightbody, of Waverley Road in Southsea, admitted one count of assault on December 12 at Lords Court in Portsmouth.

He also admitted stealing a box of wine worth £17.29 from the Co-op on December 15.

Magistrates at Portsmouth gave him a nine-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.

He must also comply with an alcohol treatment order.

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