A HOMELESS Iraq War veteran who bludgeoned his friend with a tree branch in a drunken attack at their makeshift Oxford campsite has been sent to prison.

Andrzej Antosiak left Robert Pochec bleeding and bruised after the incident in a field behind Osney Mead industrial estate in the west of the city.

The Polish men, who were living with others in tents on the site, had both been drinking when they came to blows on July 18 last year.

Prosecutor Jo Sear told Oxford Crown Court on Friday violence flared after Antosiak was given some money to buy drink for the group but came back empty-handed.

She said 32-year-old Antosiak initially started to attack Mr Pochec’s friend before turning to his eventual victim.

“There was punching and headbutting by the defendant,” she said.

“Antosiak obtained a broken tree branch and hit him in the shoulder and also on the head.

“While he was on the ground the defendant kicked him. He left the scene making threats to kill if they phoned police.”

Mr Pochec was taken to hospital and needed six stitches to a head wound.

Antosiak initially denied the attack, but admitted unlawful wounding on the day of his scheduled trial.

Guy Williamson, defending, said his client, who has 32 offences to his name, came to Britain from Poland eight years ago after serving in Iraq during his national service.

He said Antosiak had worked as a sous chef at the Woodstock Arms in Woodstock and later for Phones4U before the breakdown of a relationship led him to drink, drugs and homelessness.

Judge Mary Jane Mowat jailed Antosiak for two years eight months.