A THUG has been fined after punching a man at the end of a night out in front of an off duty police officer.

Jack Jones was walking home after partying in Colchester town centre with his wife when they got involved in an altercation with two men near the St Botolph's Circus roundabout.

His partner and one of the men began scuffling and the other man tried to separate them when Jones, 27, landed a single punch on his chin.

The victim was left with a small cut.

A senior police officer witnessed the whole incident while driving by and got out of his vehicle.

The officer gave basic first aid and his wife called police and flagged down a passing patrol car.

In a victim personal statement, the man who was attacked said he was only trying to diffuse the situation.

"I am a very social person and the incident has made me distrustful of what people want from me," he said.

"Afterwards I struggled to even walk to the convenience store because I thought somebody would assault me for no reason.

"I just want to be safe when I go out in the future."

Jones, of Cunningham Close, Colchester, admitted assault at a Colchester Magistrates' Court hearing.

It was alleged in court the row was about cocaine, but Paul Baker, mitigating, said the men had made comments about Jones' wife.

"His wife was walking ahead of him when he became aware one of the two men had said something to her," he said.

"She reacted to the situation and one of the men grabbed her by the wrists and a scuffle broke out.

"He then responded as all husbands would and got involved.

"It was a single punch to the chin which knocked the victim back a couple of steps."

Jones, a painter and decorator, was fined £400 for what magistrates described as a "nasty punch."

He must also pay £150 compensation to the victim and £145 in other court charges.