A MAN has pleaded guilty to drunkenly hitting a woman he didn't know round the back of the head on a night out.
Martin Blakeman, of Raleigh Meadow, Barnstaple, appeared at North Devon Magistrates' Court on Friday charged with common assault.
The court heard how Blakeman was out celebrating his 22nd Birthday and had been drinking all day.
Ben Winzer, for the defence, told the court how the incident occurred at the end of the night outside a taxi rank in Queen Street, Barnstaple.
The victim, Katie Mills, and her boyfriend were waiting to get into a taxi when Blakeman's friends started throwing chips at the pair.
The defendant then approached the pair and stood in a boxing stance in front of the victims boyfriend and before they walked away together.
Blakeman went after them, and the victim received a blow to the back of the head, which was witnessed by door staff and the taxi driver.
They then witnessed the victim run towards Bear Street, where police found him standing in an alley way.
Winzer added that Blakeman had started drinking at 10am, and had consumed brandy, vodka and sambuca shots, and his last memory was dancing with a lady in the Rising Sun pub.
Tony Dart, for the defence, said that the victim had clearly been shaken up by the incident and his client holds his hands up entirely.
"He had had a bit too much to drink and was showing off in front of his friends," he said.
"He is full of remorse.
"Door staff said they thought he was aiming for the boyfriend and had lost his balance, but that is still no excuse.
"He is embarrassed in the extreme and he knows it is not acceptable, he hasn't been out since.
"I must express total and utter remorse of behalf of my client."
The case was adjourned for a pre-sentencing report and will appear again at North Devon Magistrates' Court on September 27.