A jealous thug has been jailed for carrying out two different attacks on a man who he thought was seeing his ex-partner.

Christopher Reed, 38, from Barnstaple, punched, kicked and stamped on victim Paul Tuff for no apparent reason in the first assault and broke his nose in the second.

Mr Tuff was too frightened to go to the police after the first attack in Barnstaple and went home to tend his wounds for four days.

When he finally felt well enough to go out, he ran into Reed in the middle of the town and was attacked again in the full view of terrified shoppers.

During both attacks he accused Mr Tuff of planning to go to Manchester with his ex-partner, even though his suspicions were completely unfounded.

Reed, of Victoria Road, Barnstaple, admitted two offences of causing actual bodily harm and was jailed for a year and 10 months by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court.

He told him: “Whatever beef you had with Mr Tuff, and it remains a complete mystery to him, there was no justification at all for any violence.

“Members of the public watched the second assault. They were astonished and concerned at the violence you were meting out.”

Felicity Payne, prosecuting, said Mr Tuff called at a house in Barnstaple on the night of June 17 last year, expecting to meet a friend.

Reed answered the door instead and attacked him without warning, punching him in the face and knocking him down a set of steps to the pavement where he carried on the attack with kicks and stamps, leaving Mr Tuff semi-conscious.

The only hint of a motive was that he said he was going to kill him because he was planning to go to Manchester with his ex-partner.

Mr Tuff went home, spent four days recovering, but met Reed again by chance when he went shopping in the centre of Barnstaple.

This time he chased him down the street and punched him several times in the face, breaking his nose.

Richard Crabb, defending, said Reed had a bad criminal record involving drugs and shoplifting, but no recent convictions for violence.

He said Reed is working with the probation and drug services and felt he had not been offered as much support as he needed for his addiction problems.