A MAN who had taken drink and drugs could not remember a completely random attack on a woman at a Rhyl bingo hall.

Glass collector Sion Hughes, 38, walked into the foyer of The Apollo Bingo Hall at Rhyl and struck a complete stranger to the face, breaking her nose as she sat at a fruit machine.

He then simply walked back out again, Mold Crown Court was told.

Hughes of First Avenue in Rhos on Sea, admitted assault but escaped immediate custody.

He received a eight month prison sentence suspended for 12 months and he was placed on rehabilitation with 180 hours unpaid work.

Hughes was also ordered to pay £500 compensation.

Judge Niclas Parry said that a decent, hard working woman in her 50s was on her own, relaxing, when she was punched in the face, while seated, by "a total stranger."

Her nose was fractured and it had long lasting effects on her.

She continued to suffer night terrors, pain and anxiety.

Judge Parry said that it was to her credit that the information she had provided to the crown had been measured - it had not been exaggerated.

Everything that she had said had been confirmed by medical evidence.

"These offences are as inexplicable as they are serious," Judge Parry said.

"The most worrying aspect is that you have no recollection whatsoever of having acted as you did.

"No doubt that is due to the combination of alcohol and drugs," he said.

The sentencing guidelines mean that for such an offence the starting point was 26 weeks in custody but it ranged from a community order for the less serious to a 12 month sentence for the most serious examples.

Hughes had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity in the magistrates' court after admitting what he had done to the police.

He had acted entirely out of character and was normally a very hard working man.

The defendant was someone who worked very long hours for very low pay as a cleaner and glass collector.

Before the offence he was already undertaking counseling for his mental health.

Under the guidelines he would be released within weeks if he was sentenced to custody given the credit he was entitled to.

By then his jobs would have gone and he would be unable to pay compensation.

Prosecuting barrister Ryan Rothwell said that the attack one evening g in September was an entirely random encounter.

The woman was approached by a complete stranger and out of the blue he punched her with force to the face.

He fractured her nose and she had been left in severe pain.

Her confidence had been affected and she suffered nightmares, anxiety and panic attacks.

Interviewed, the defendant said that the last thing he remembered was leaving home to get cannabis.

He had drunk three cans of beer and had also taken temazepam.

Defending barrister Simon Killeen said that the attack was in public and his client was clearly under the influence of something.

It was entirely out of character.

He could remember nothing about it.

The defendant was working in two low-paid jobs as a cleaner and a glass collector but was managing to reduce his debts.

"He is an extremely hard working man," said Mr Killeen.

There were two choices for the court - a relatively short prison sentence or a more constructive sentence in the community which would allow him to keep his job and pay compensation to the lady who was entirely blameless.

He had no convictions for violence.