A NIGHT out in Bournemouth ended in terror for four young women after they were victims of "a sustained and brutal" road rage attack.

One woman suffered a broken nose and another's jaw was fractured when violence flared in Madeira Road in the early hours of May 7 this year.

Student Lewis Heath, 20, from Georgina Close, Poole, admitted two charges of assault, occasioning actual bodily harm, and two offences of assault by beating.

Prosecuting at Bournemouth Crown Court, Carolyn Branford-Wood said tempers had flared after Heath's stationary Ford Focus blocked his victims' Vauxhall Astra on a round¬about near Horseshoe Common.

"Cars were beeping their horns behind so the girls drove on the wrong side of bollards up Old Christchurch Road towards the Lansdowne," she said.

"They heard a smash of glass against the rear of their car and the driver saw a Ford Focus in her rear view mirror. They stopped to check the damage and there was an argument between the occu¬pants of the two vehicles.

"One of the girls dropped her mobile phone out of the car window and she persuaded the driver to go back to collect it. She was picking it up when Mr Heath went into a frenzy and started punching the driver's window, causing cracks."

Ms Branford-Wood said Heath had punched one woman in the jaw, "causing her to fall to the floor, dazed and confused", before setting on her three companions.

The shocked driver dialled 999 and a taxi driver, who heard the commotion, rushed to their aid. Heath drove off, leaving his victims needing hospital treatment. He was arrested on May 18 after being identified by the Astra driver.

Defending, Robert Grey said his client had acted "completely out of character," believing a glass had been thrown at his car.

He added: "It was not all one-way; they shouted a barrage of abuse at him. There was, at least, an element of provocation."

Jailing Heath for 40 weeks, Judge Roger Jarvis told him: "These offences are very serious indeed. It is a stark example of what is known as road rage. It was a sustained and brutal attack. An immediate custodial sentence is inevitable."