A former Royal Marine has been jailed for attacking a former friend over a debt of just £100.

Afghanistan veteran Njabulo Hleza pushed his way into victim Matthew Morgan's room at a homeless hostel in Barnstaple and punched and kicked him in an attempt to force him to repay the cash.

He went to the property in Sticklepath Terrace in Barnstaple with recently released prison inmate Wayne Harford, who joined him in the attack.

Hleza, aged 40, formerly of Boutport Street, Barnstaple, admitted blackmail and assault causing actual bodily harm.

Harford, aged 54, of Signal Terrace, Barnstaple, admitted causing actual bodily harm and assault on police.

Njabulo Hleza.Njabulo Hleza.

Hleza was jailed for 15 months and Harford for 12 months by Judge Peter Johnson at Exeter Crown Court.

He told them: "Mr Morgan owed Hleza money and it was his refusal to pay that led to the assault. With two of you going, it was clear that, if necessary, violence was going to be used.

"When he again refused to pay and said he had no money, the two of you set about him in a sustained attack with punches and kicks when he was on the floor of his own flat."

Mr James Hassell, prosecuting, said the two men went to the charity-run supported accommodation on Sunday, June 23 this year and found Mr Morgan watching a film on television.

Wayne Harford.Wayne Harford.

They both attacked him when he refused to hand over money or drugs and left him with a blooded face and bruising to his head and body. He was advised to go to hospital by police but refused to do so.

Harford kicked one of the police officers who was called to break up the fight. Hleza told police he had gone to collect a debt of £100.

The victim was so scared by the attack that he left his flat because he no longer felt safe there.

Hleza has nine previous convictions for violence or weapons offences. Harford has 16 convictions and was on licence at the time, having been released from a two year sentence from wounding which was imposed at Plymouth Crown Court last year.

Mr Brian Fitzherbert, for Hleza, said he served the country in the Army and Royal Marines but had been left with combat stress and PTSD as a result of his experiences in Afghanistan.

He left the forces in 2011 after an altercation with his commanding officer and was diagnosed with PTSD in 2015. He is hoping to receive more help from service charities when he is released from jail.

Mr William Parkhill, defending Harford, said he had been doing well on prison licence until this incident and living at accommodation supplied by the same Christian group as ran the home in Sticklepath.

He has already been punished to some degree by being recalled on licence but is doing well in jail, where he has enhanced status and is working in the kitchens.

He was working at a factory in North Devon at the time of his arrest and plans to work as a carpet fitter on his release.