A man has been jailed for 10 months for punching a student and fracturing his skull in an “unprovoked” attack.

Sam McAtasney, 25, had been drinking on the night of the attack and had received a call from a female friend saying she was being harassed by a man in Watford town centre.

McAtasney of Bushfield Crescent, Edgware, went to the aid of the woman and ended up punching a student once from behind, causing him to collapse and hit his head on a kerb.

The victim was left unconscious on the pavement as McAtasney walked off, and was discovered by police.

Prosecutor Neil King said the young man suffered a bleed to the brain and a fractured skull and spent a week in hospital. In the future there is the risk that he may suffer epilepsy.

Having pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm at 3.30am on February 2 2018, McAtasney appeared at St Albans crown court on Tuesday for sentencing.

He was supported by his mother, father, a brother and grandparents in court.

He had no previous convictions, but one caution from the police 12 years ago when he was a youth.

Defending, Andel Singh said McAtasney, had worked for a dry cleaning business since the age of 16 and was well regarded and comes from a good family.

He asked for a suspended sentence, saying: "He has expressed remorse. He has a number of people who speak highly of his character."

But Judge Stephen Warner jailed him for 10 months, saying: "This was an unprovoked attack and there is evidence you had consumed drink.

"You were aggressive in a public place in the early hours. Somebody who causes this sort of injury can expect to lose their liberty immediately.”