A motorist from Teignmouth who launched an unprovoked attack on a female traffic warden has been jailed.

Joseph Smart had found his car had been given a ticket but wrongly assumed it was handed out by civil enforcement officer Joanna Morton.

She said 41-year-old Smart stared at her and walked up to her aggressively at a rapid pace before he flipped.

Exeter Crown Court heard Smart, of Wellington Street, Teignmouth, repeatedly punched her in the head with his fists so hard she fell to the ground.

Miss Morton said she was 'petrified and terrified' and left screaming during the assault.

A motorist and some passers by rushed to her aid.

Prosecutor Gordon Richings said the assault was 'completely unprovoked' and Miss Morton was left with injuries to her forehead and ear.

The victim said: "I had not even issued him with the parking ticket. I cannot believe he was so violent towards me."

The warden of ten years had been left traumatised by the incident near Teignmouth seafront in March.

Smart, who had been drinking, then spat in the face of a police officer who arrested him using handcuffs and an incapacitant spray.

William Parkhill, mitigating, said Smart had 'got the wrong person' after his car was given a ticket.

He said: "He lashed out towards her. He is lucky and grateful the injuries are not more severe to the victim."

Smart admitted assault causing actual bodily harm on warden Morton and assaulting PC Alexander Head with intent to resist arrest.

Judge Francis Gilbert QC said Smart had previous convictions for violence, particularly against the police. He jailed him for a total of 52 weeks.