A VIOLENT thug who launched an unprovoked attack on a clubber while armed with a stun gun has been jailed.

Benjamin Morton, 27, punched a man in Mayhem Nightclub, in Warrior Square, Southend, just after midnight on January 31 last year, continuing the attack as he lay on the floor.

Basildon Crown Court heard the victim suffered a 2.5cm cut to his forehead and a 1.5cm by 1cm cut to the corner of his mouth, resulting in damage to the mouth’s lining and the surrounding muscles. He has been left with permanent scars.

Morton was thrown out of the club and arrested. At the station, police found a stun gun disguised as a mobile phone hidden in his underpants.

Joe Bird, prosecuting, said despite viewing CCTV images that showed Morton gripping an object during the attack, it was not clear whether he used the weapon or his own phone.

But Judge David Owen-Jones found there were no exceptional circumstances for the possession of the weapon and imposed a mandatory five-year sentence. Morton was handed 16 months for the GBH, to run concurrently.

The court heard Morton, of Montague Drive, Saxmundham, Suffolk, has eight previous convictions for violence. Charles Conway, mitigating, argued the mandatory sentence for the stun gun should not be imposed because it had not been used and there was no indication as to whether it was carried for offensive or defensive reasons.

Morton maintains he found the weapon in the street after being thrown out of the club, but admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm and possession of a stun gun.

However, Judge Owen-Jones said Morton “jolly well” knew it was a stun gun and said: “I have to ask why on Earth you would take a stun gun disguised as a mobile phone into a nightclub?”