Gordon, 24, of Springwood Avenue, Waterlooville, Hampshire, was sentenced to seven months in prison suspended for 18 months and was ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work and to pay £425 costs.

Prosecutor Mark Wilson said that in October 2012 there was a party for students in the sports hall at the agricultural college.

During the course of the evening Gordon was spoiling for a fight on the dance floor and would barge into people, clearly up for a fight.

There had been an incident at the same party the previous year, so when Gordon barged Patrick Alegora to his shoulder, he tried to ignore him.

But Gordon then squared up to him, so Mr Alegora responded by pushing him away.

Gordon left the dance floor, but returned in a group and one of them punched one of Mr Alegora’s friends while Gordon grabbed Mr Alegora and threw him to the floor.

And as Mr Alegora tried to protect himself with his arms he felt numerous blows to the back of his head and neck from Gordon, who was described as “giving him a good hiding” until he was pulled away.

As a result of the incident the party was brought to an early end, and the students dispersed.

But Gordon had not finished, and in the accommodation block he tried to get into student Carla Gospel’s room after she saw him with others in the corridor.

She pushed him away, but he pushed her back and pushed his way into her room and pinned her against the wall in what Mr Wilson described as “a frightening incident of thuggery.”

Harriett Thompson, who also had a room in the block, was aware of a group of drunken young men shouting in the corridor, and came out and shouted at them to be quiet.

She then felt a pain to the back of her leg and turned to see that Gordon had hit her with a riding crop he had taken from the wall.

He then whipped her across the face with the crop, leaving her with a vivid red mark, before swinging it around and hitting her twice more to the head before walking away.

When he was later arrested Gordon, who had a previous conviction for assault, admitted the assaults.

Subhankar Banerjee, defending, said: “There is no doubt this defendant behaved utterly stupidly that night.”

But Judge Richard Griffith-Jones responded: “It’s more than stupidity. To take a riding crop and hit a young woman in the face with it is nasty.”

Mr Banerjee said Gordon accepted his guilt at the first opportunity and expressed remorse, and he has stopped drinking following the incident.

“Through his own actions that night he was removed from his course.

“He had been there for three-and-a-half years of a five-year course. He has hampered his own career prospects.”