THE sentence of a drug-crazed man who chased and beat a book-reader as he enjoyed the summer sunshine has been cut by leading judges.

Barry James Cripps was jailed for three years at Chester Crown Court in May after admitting common assault and assault causing actual bodily harm.

Cripps targeted his victim, Christopher Lloyd, as he sat outside Waitrose in Booughton in July 2016 soaking up the sun.

The Appeal Cout in London was told Mr Lloyd was reading a book and “minding his own business” when Cripps walked over and punched him in the face and nose, also delivering a kick.

The victim retreated into the supermarket with a bloody nose, assuming Cripps would go away.

But Cripps, who was high on amphetamines, pursued him inside, bellowing and “with arms flailing”.

Cripps, 42, was captured on CCTV repeatedly throwing punches and Mr Lloyd described him as “out of control”.

Later on Cripps brandished a gas cylinder at a police officer after his arrest, Judge Michael Topolski QC told the court yesterday.

The assault on Mr Lloyd had a heavy impact, said the judge. Photos showed his “multiple contusions and head injuries”.

He was left suffering from nightmares and sleeplessness and, at the time, “feared that a complete stranger was for some reason trying to kill him”.

Cripps, of Richmond Terrace, Vicars Cross, challenged his sentence it was far too tough.

Judge Topolski said he was guilty of “a ferocious, vicious and sustained assault on a man minding his own business”.

But the judge, sitting with Lord Justice Hickinbottom and Mr Justice Openshaw, accepted that the total three-year sentence was excessive.

It failed to reflect Cripps’ guilty plea, he ruled, cutting the sentence to two years and three months.