A MAN with 92 previous offences admitted assault after an argument in a pub got out of hand, a court heard.

Stephen Matthews, aged 56, of Harmony Close, Redruth, told the victim before beating him up: "Why don't you p*** off back to Penzance and if you come back to Redruth, me and my mates will f****** kill you."

At Truro Crown Court on Friday, prosecutor Philip Lee explained that on May 17 last year, Matthews was drinking in the Oxford Inn in Redruth.

There had been an earlier dispute over a missing ring between Matthews and the victim at the social club.

The argument continued in the town centre pub, at which point Matthews verbally threatened the victim, who stepped outside the pub to call the police.

Matthews followed him outside and, as shown on CCTV footage which was played on TV screens in court, he assaulted the victim before going around the corner out of sight of the cameras to continue the attack. 

He punched him in the head and stomach, bent his hand backwards and kneed him in the groin causing "severe pain", said Mr Lee.

When interviewed by police in July, Matthews said that the victim had "started to get lippy and I saw red". 

"I should have walked away and I'll pay the price," he said in the interview.

Mr Lee added that he had committed 92 offences over a period of years, the last of which was in 2002. 

Defending, Robin Smith said that Matthews had a problem with alcohol and would usually drink ten to 15 pints a day.

Sentencing Matthews, Judge Robert Linford said he was "too old for brawling with people in the street". 

"You kicked that habit in 2002 and it has resurfaced," he added.

Matthews was made the subject of a 12-month community order, including an Alcohol Treatment Order Requirement.

He was given a restraining order not to contact the victim and was ordered to pay £500 compensation.