A VIOLENT thug blew a raspberry at a judge and made offensive gestures after being caged for shattering a man’s cheekbone.

Wayne Battle, of St Augustine Road, Chadwell-St-Mary, caused significant injuries to Dean McConnell when he assaulted him in Basildon on January 31.

Basildon Crown Court heard the 33-year-old was already involved in a scuffle at the bus station in the town centre just after 5.30pm.

Raj Joshi, prosecuting, said Mr McConnell was in the town with his brother Lee when the pair spotted the incident.

At the time, police were investigating Battle for an alleged assault on Mr McConnell in November.

Mr Joshi said: “He told his brother that this man had assaulted him in November 2016. He started to walk away.

“At that point the defendant started to walk behind the men. He had his arms stretched out wide shouting ‘come on then you grass’.

“He was gradually getting closer and closer to the complainant and his brother. He was gently nudged by the complainant’s brother and they carried on walking away.”

At that point, Mr McConnell said he felt a “full force” punch to the face and he started to “see stars”.

Mr Joshi said he walked away with “ringing in his ears” and security guards from the Eastgate centre came to his aid.

Later that evening, Mr McConnell began to suffer from blurred vision and pain in his face.

He went to Basildon Hospital where he was x-rayed and doctors told him his cheekbone had been “shattered” and needed surgery. Two of his teeth had been completely turned around by the force of the punch.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mr McConnell said: “This incident has consumed my whole life. I was taking ten different types of medication.

“For about three weeks after the assault I didn’t go out of my bedroom. When I go out now I am wary of people walking behind me.”

The court heard Battle has 40 convictions for 73 offences, many for violence.

In interview, he admitted carrying out the assault, saying “they tried to get me done for theft and assault”.

Addressing Battle, who appeared via videolink, Judge Ian Graham said: “You have a long, long criminal record, including offences of violence.”

He handed him a 16 month prison term. At that point, Battle blew a loud raspberry. He then made V-gestures with both hands before making another gesture in front of the camera and walking off.