A thug who attacked a vulnerable woman on a train by repeatedly punching her in the face to steal her backpack has been jailed for 10 years.

Aaron Foley, 32, was caught on CCTV attacking the victim with a barrage of punches and kicks before throwing her into a set of seats as she fought to hold on to her bag.

The attack took place on a train travelling between Woolwich and Charlton in south-east London on June 3.

On Monday (November 12), Inner London Crown Court heard that Foley, of Kingsman Street, Greenwich, had been begging on the train just three days after he had been released from prison.

Jose Olivares-Chandler, prosecuting, said the woman had been willing to hand over money to Foley but refused to give him the bag because of its sentimental value

The woman was left bleeding from the mouth, and giving an impact statement read to the court by Mr Olivares-Chandler, the victim said: "I have nightmares about the incident, it is a recurring nightmare. I think about it every day. Sometimes I wish I could have fought better. Why couldn't I fight him off?"

"After this incident I no longer feel comfortable talking in public.

The court heard that the woman had suffered multiple injuries to her face and required ongoing dental surgery.

The woman added: "I get upset when I brush my teeth, I am worried (Foley) has damaged my appearance permanently."

Sentencing Foley, Recorder Timothy Clark QC said the attack had showed a "high degree of callousness."

"(The victim) was sat on her own when she was approached by you, clearly begging. She makes it clear she is not interested. Your reaction is to punch her hard in the face. You punch her several times," he said.

"This act left her, in my opinion, with serious facial injuries. She faces years of treatment."

Sentencing him to 10 years in jail, Mr Clark added that significant psychological harm had also been done and that Foley posed a serious risk of further offence.