A BRUTAL drunken beating outside a pub in Chipping Campden has resulted in a six month prison sentence for the attacker.

Former Sunday newspaper sub-editor Steven Wells knocked a man unconscious outside a Cotswolds pub and then kicked him repeatedly with steel toed boots, Gloucester crown court was told.

Wells, 56, who had drunk eight pints of beer at a family barbecue, was angry with Jason Smith for allegedly being aggressive towards his niece outside the Knowle pub in Chipping Campden.

Wells pleaded guilty to assaulting Jason Smith causing actual bodily harm on Easter Monday, 21st April this year, and was jailed for six months.

Judge Jamie Tabor QC told him that he could easily have killed Mr Smith by kicking him in the head with reinforced motorcycle boots when he was unconscious and vulnerable.

Mr Smith could not recollect what happened but witness Rachel Woodward, who was driving him and some friends home, told police that as they approached her car the men began talking to two girls, one of whom was Wells' niece.

Wells then appeared and launched an attack on Mr Smith.

Prosecutor Julian Kesner said: "Without warning Mr Smith was punched by the defendant. He went to the ground. It appears that at that stage he was already unconscious.

"Once he was on the ground he was kicked by Mr Wells. Ms Woodward says he was kicked a number of times- she suggests eight."

Mr Kesner said most of the kicks were to the head although there was at least one 'hefty kick' to the kidney area.

Mr Smith suffered a large star shaped cut to the top of the head which required 11 stitches and was left badly bruised and swollen.

Stephen Parker, defending, said Wells felt very protective towards his niece that night but acknowledged he had gone too far.

He said Wells had been a sub editor in London, latterly working for the Mail on Sunday and then Credit Suisse where he was involved in producing a financial publication.

Jailing Wells Judge Tabor told him "I am prepared to accept that your view of the situation outside the pub was that your niece was having a difficult time with 1-2 boys.

"I am also prepared to accept that one of those lads, who was the victim, made a comment which although it was entirely wrong was very unpleasant."