Alcoholic Darren Ince had been attempting to steal a can of cider from the Spar shop in Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth, when he was spotted by staff at the store.
Ince then hurled racist abuse at the shopkeeper, sparking a brawl which led to the 49-year-old battering the worker with a metal pole and hitting another man over the head with a chair.
During Ince’s sentencing at Portsmouth Crown Court, prosecutor Tom Wright described how Ince attacked the men.
He told the court the victims had received gashes to their heads as a result of the attack – although none of these injuries were serious.
He added Ince, of Winstanley Road, Stamshaw, had breached a previously-imposed conditional discharge for theft,
Defence barrister Maria Henty, said Ince was ‘ashamed’ by his behaviour.
She explained Ince suffered from behavioural problems which often caused him to act impulsively and erratically.
Ms Henty called on the judge not to impose a custodial sentence, which she said would ruin Ince’s chance of beating his ‘long-standing addiction’.
‘He started drinking when he was nine as a result of personal trauma,’ she said.
‘The personal trauma in his life has been quite significant – the entire matrix of his offending steams from the trauma of his past.’
Ince pleaded guilty to both attempted theft and affray.
Judge Ian Pearson gave credit to Ince for his early guilty pleas.
However, despite Ms Henty’s calls for a non-custodial sentence Judge Pearson said he was left with no other choice but to jail Ince.
He told the court Ince had 48 convictions for 106 offences from 1985.
‘Many, many types of orders have been placed upon you,’ he told the defendant. ‘None of them really have been successful in curbing your offending which is prolific and none have been successful in curbing your abuse of alcohol.
‘I am left really with the stark position that these offences are so serious that only a custodial sentence may be justified for them as there is no other realistic alternative.’
Ince was jailed for a total of 34 weeks for his crimes.