A KILLER is back behind bars for carrying out a vicious assault on a woman.

Stephen Shields, 37, savagely punched and kicked his victim in a Port Glasgow street.

He pounced on the woman after seeing her embroiled in a shouting match with his mother, a trial heard.

Shields was acting with others - who are meantime unknown to prosecutors - during the attack at Pladda Avenue.

The victim's partner told Greenock Sheriff Court how she was on 'all fours trying to get to her feet' when Shields kicked her in the face.

He was found guilty of punching the woman on the head, causing her to fall to the ground, sitting on top of her, seizing her throat, repeatedly punching her on the body and kicking her on the head, all to her injury.

Shields was jailed in 2011 for a brutal baseball bat attack on a man in the same street.

He carried out a fatal stabbing in nearby Rona Avenue in 2003.

Defence witnesses at his latest trial claimed that he was trying to be a 'peacemaker' during the dispute between the woman and his mother.

One woman stated that it was Shields who was assaulted, despite him having no injuries, and the fact that it was his victim who called police.

Fiscal depute Pamela Brady pointed out: "No defence witness called the police and neither did they engage with officers after they arrived."

Mrs Brady added: "Photographs of the woman's injuries accord with the nature of the assault.

"The incident became very inflamed very quickly."

She dismissed 'various' accounts given by Shields and defence witnesses as 'inconsistent in material factors'.

Mrs Brady said: "There is no evidence of any injury on Stephen Shields and it is conceded that he is quite significantly larger than the woman."

In finding Shields guilty, Sheriff Derek Hamilton said: "I am satisfied there was an assault here."

Shields, of Pladda Avenue, stabbed 32-year-old William Lyall to death as he sat in his car in August 2003.

He was jailed for six years at the High Court after pleading guilty to culpable homicide.

Mr Lyall, who was dating Shields' sister Kelly-Ann at the time, bled to death as a result of being stabbed twice in an attack which severed one of his arteries.

A jury at Greenock unanimously found Shields guilty in January 2011 of punching a man on the head and body and striking him with a baseball bat.

Sentencing him to ten months imprisonment for his his latest offence, Sheriff Hamilton told him: "You have a significant record and in all of the circumstances the only appropriate disposal here is custody."

The jail term imposed has been backdated to when Shields was first remanded in custody on the matter on March 12.