A DRUNKEN thug was fined and ordered to pay compensation after viciously beating a litter picker.

Craig Stone, 22, admitted beating 59- year-old Peter Horton around the head outside Varsity, in Chichester Road, Southend, when he appeared before magistrates.

Prosecutor Lesley Chipps told Southend Magistrates’ Court Stone was urinating against a wall on March 8 with another man when one of them verbally abused Mr Horton, who was on duty clearing litter from the street.

He responded with a comment about them urinating, later telling officers he was then punched by Stone.

The court heard Mr Horton then walked to the nearest taxi and asked the driver to call police, when Stone again hit him twice on his left ear, causing him to fall to the ground.

He said he quickly got up, thinking he was going to be hit again, when nightclub revellers began crowding around him.

Stone’s solicitor, Gurpreet Garcha, told the court: “He was going out with a friend and had been to a nightclub, drinking about seven pints and five spirits.

“He said he can remember very little in terms of the actual incident, but pleaded guilty after seeing evidence on CCTV and admits full responsibility.”

Stone, of Brennan Road, Tilbury, was ordered to pay £200 compensation, to complete 160 hours’ unpaid work in ten days and pay a £60 victim surcharge as well as £85 costs.