A THUG who launched a 'horrific and terrifying' attack on his vulnerable, elderly neighbour has been jailed.

Witnesses described Shane Prothero's savage onslaught as 'sickening', involving repeated kicks which left his victim drenched in blood.

The 43-year-old of Allnatt Avenue, Wallingford, had already pleaded guilty to one count of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

At his sentencing hearing held at Oxford Crown Court yesterday prosecutor Matthew Walsh said the violence was 'a horrific, terrifying and sustained attack.'

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Outlining the case he said Prothero had targeted one of his neighbours where he lived in a block of flats in Wallingford.

The victim was a bus driver who was aged 70 at the time of the attack on January 6 this year.

He had returned from work shortly before 4pm when Prothero confronted him.

Prosecutors said that Prothero began shouting 'inexplicable things', before falsely accusing him of being a paedophile, while the man tried to reason with him.

It was then that Prothero erupted into an onslaught of violence, first lunging towards his victim before knocking him to the floor.

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As the man begged Prothero to stop the attack he was kicked repeatedly in the head and to the face.

He then curled up into a ball and could taste blood as Prothero continued to kick him in the stomach and the back.

A neighbour who witnessed the attack described the onslaught as 'sickening' involving multiple stamps to the head.

When an ambulance was called responders found the man in a 'terrible state' covered in blood and he was treated at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

In a victim personal statement the man said he was now afraid of going outside and had trouble sleeping.

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Prosecutors also said that Prothero's behaviour in the lead-up to the violence had been described as 'being a nuisance', with several complaints made about him as well as reports to the police.

He also has a total of 38 previous offences to his name, including a number of violent crimes.

In mitigation defence barrister Mark Butler said that his client's mental health had 'gone downhill' following the break-up of a relationship and a bereavement.

He added that domestic violence 'featured heavily in his own family' and Prothero was committed to taking courses while in prison.

Sentencing, Judge Maria Lamb deemed Prothero to be a 'dangerous' offender.

She said: "This was, as the prosecution have described it, a horrific and terrifying, and sustained attack.

"It lasted for some 10 minutes or so. Your victim was a vulnerable man aged in his 70s."

Prothero was jailed for six years and made subject to an extended period of post-release licence of three years.

He must also pay a victim surcharge and obey a restraining order for 10 years.