A hotel worker has been jailed for a brutal attack on a single mother in front of her terrified son.

Brandon Woodger punched the 45-year-old woman in the face and dragged her around her house by her hair before leaving her half naked and semi-conscious in the hallway.

A judge praised the courage of her son who was thrown across the room during the attack in Ilfracombe but got up and ran to a neighbour’s house to get help.

The woman was left with a severely broken eye socket which has left one side of her face droopy and is likely to cause permanent problems with her eyesight.

Woodger, aged 23, met her on a bus from Barnstaple to Ilfracombe and they had been drinking vodka together and dancing before the attack, which started when she rejected his sexual advances and told him she was old enough to be his mother.

Brandon Woodger.Brandon Woodger.

He was so drunk that he could not remember what he had done and continued denying the attack for months.

She read out an emotional victim impact statement at Exeter Crown Court in which she revealed that both she and her son are still suffering nightmares and flashbacks ten months after the assault.

Woodger, formerly of Hornebrook Avenue, Ilfracombe, but now of Old Park Road, Dudley, admitted causing grievous bodily harm to the woman and battery against her son and was jailed for two years and three months by Judge Peter Johnson.

He told him: “This was on any view a disgraceful and brutal assault on a defenceless woman in her own home in front of her son. It has had a traumatic effect on both of them.

“I would like to pass on my praise to the boy, who did exactly the right thing that day. I hope he and his mother can start to move forward. I would also like to thank the mother for reading her victim personal statement.”

Kelly Scrivener, prosecuting, said Woodger met the woman and her son while they were all waiting for a bus to Ilfracombe from Barnstaple, where she had been at a hospital appointment.

She had bought some vodka to celebrate the end of a course of treatment and they drank it together on the bus before buying more alcohol on the way back to her home.

They listened to music and danced and the attack started after he told her he liked older woman and she rejected his advances and said she was old enough to be his mother.

Her son came downstairs to find Woodger punching her in the face, holding her up against a wall, and then kicking her in the head three or four times after dragging her to the ground.

The boy was picked up by the throat and hurled into a sofa when he tried to intervene and then fled the house to fetch help. By the time neighbours arrived, the victim was lying inside the open front door, with her lower clothes pulled down.

They had been partially dragged off her body as he dragged her around by her hair. Her victim impact statement said the blow which shattered her eye socket had been so hard that her eye had been forced back into her head.

Reading her statement to the judge, the woman said: “I welcomed Brandon into my home with trust. He broke that trust when he decided to assault me very brutally. I received serious injuries which will potentially affect me for the rest of my life.

“My son had to witness his mother being dragged around by her hair and being punched in the face and kicked in the neck. He has had counselling and been diagnosed with PTSD.

“Mentally, I am still suffering and cannot trust anyone. I don’t like to leave my house. I am scared and always looking over my shoulder. I have awful flashbacks.”

Peter Coombe, defending, said Woodger does not have a history of comparable violence and was affected by the large amount of alcohol he had drunk before the attack. He is now ashamed of what he did and wants to put the incident behind him.