A man has been jailed for an unprovoked attack on a lesbian couple, in which he punched and headbutted the two women in a takeaway in Hartlepool.

The Hartlepool Mail reports that on 13 January Keith Anderson turned on couple Vikki Unsworth and Leanne Mahoney after being told by proprietors to leave a takeaway in Hartlepool.

Ms Unsworth said she avoided making eye contact with Anderson, but he still asked her “What are you looking at, you lesbian”, before attacking her.

Anderson delivered an uppercut to Ms Unsworth’s face, snapping her head back, and continued punching her.

Her girlfriend, Ms Mahoney, tried to defend her but was held back by a friend of Anderson.

He then headbutted Ms Mahoney, which split her lip and knocked a tooth loose.

Prosecutor Sue Jacobs said: “Miss Mahoney stated at the start that the defendant said to Miss Unsworth ‘what are you looking at you lesbian’ and added he began bouncing around like a boxer and was shouting to Miss Unsworth ‘you fat lesbian’.

“Then he turned round to Miss Mahoney and made an offensive comment.”

Mediator Tamara Pawson said that Anderson, who pleaded guilty to two charges of common assault, was drunk when he attacked the women: “He was under the influence at the time the offence was committed. He has little recollection of the events.”

Anderson received a 12 month jail sentence for the attack. In 2012 he received a suspended sentence for attacking a person with a pool ball inside a sock.

Ms Unsworth and Ms Mahoney said they felt targeted because of their sexuality, and were considering moving away from the area because of the attack.

In Hartlepool earlier this month gay couple Christopher and Stephen Akers-Belcher made history by becoming the first civil partnership in the country to hold the positions of council leader and civic mayor.