A THUG who launched an unprovoked attack on two people at a cash machine and then set upon officers who tried to arrest him has been jailed for 20 month.s

Billy Atkins approached a man who was using an ATM in Head Street, Colchester, on a night out in April, and punched him in the face.

He was confronted by the victim's friend who asked him why he had carried out the assault.

The 23-year-old then punched the other man and continued to assault him as he lay on the floor.

Both men stumbled back to Yates where they were helped by staff at the nightspot.

Atkins, of East Hill, Colchester, was tracked by CCTV operators and police officers were sent out to arrest him.

He then punched one to the chest and knocked another to the floor before finally being detained.

The yob was also serving a 16 month suspended sentence handed out for threatening a person with an offensive weapon.

Atkins admitted a string of offences and was sentenced to ten months for actual bodily harm, two months for assaulting an emergency worker, eight months for breaching a suspended sentence and 14 days for resisting arrest at Chelmsford Crown Court all to run consecutively.

He received two months for common assault, two months for assaulting an emergency worker and 28 days for criminal damage, to run concurrently - making a final sentence of 20 months.

Chief Insp Rob Huddleston, district commander for Colchester, praised his team and colleagues for their work to ensure Atkins was jailed.

He said: “Atkins carried out an unprovoked attack on two men who were looking forward to a night out in Colchester.

"They walked to Yates nightclub with their injuries and I’d like to thank the members of staff who helped them.

“Atkins was quickly located by CCTV operators, who directed my officers to him. He then carried out a further attacked on two of my officers, who were simply making enquiries with him.

“They managed to detain Atkins, who is a prolific offender, and last week he was put before a court and jailed for his actions.”