A WOMAN was punched by a complete stranger on a Greenock street in an inexplicable attack.

Anthony Murray, 30, thumped his victim so hard on the face that she was left bleeding from her left ear.

The shocking attack happened whilst she was on a food shopping trip with her sister.

Murray dropped a bag of messages on the ground and stormed towards the females shouting: "I'll knock you two out!"

He targeted them on Florence Street after the woman he assaulted had a verbal confrontation with a female who was going to a nearby convenience store with him.

Prosecutor Claire Rowan told Greenock Sheriff Court: "The complainer noticed a female who was known to her in the company of the accused, whom she did not know.

"She was not friends with the female and an argument ensued.

"The complainer and her sister went to leave and they heard shouting from behind.

"They turned round and saw the accused place a bag of shopping on the ground and come towards them.

"The accused punched the complainer with his right hand on the left of her face, striking her left cheekbone and the top of her left ear.

"Police later noted that the complainer was bleeding from the top of her left ear."

Murray also pleaded guilty to charges of giving false details to the police and stealing two bottles of whisky from Morrisons supermarket.

He assaulted the woman in July 2017.

Murray's lawyer, Aidan Gallagher, told the court: "With regard to the assault, with the passage of time he is not able to advise of the circumstances of why he became involved."

Mr Gallagher said: "There are a number of issues that affect him, not least his mental health.

"His problems are somewhat exacerbated because there is also an issue as far as alcohol is concerned, and illicit substances."

Sheriff Andrew McIntyre remarked: "The problem is his record. This is his fourth conviction for assault and he has a conviction for having a weapon."

The sheriff told Murray: "I look at your record and I see that you have a conviction at the High Court for assault and robbery and assault to severe injury.

"Because of that, and your other convictions, it would be quite wrong not to mark the seriousness of this fourth assault with anything other than prison."

Murray, of Gael Street in Greenock, was sentenced to a total of 60 weeks on all charges.