A 50-year-old man headbutted a 17-year-old on a bus for not letting him use the boy’s internet hotspot.

Wayne Hobbs, of Welcombe Avenue, Swindon, had never met the boy who was nearly a third his age before attacking him on May 4.

Hobbs pleaded guilty to common assault in Swindon Magistrates Court on July 10.

The teenager got on the bus in Swindon first and observed Hobbes was “unstable on foot”, Adam Cooper, prosecuting, explained.

Hobbes approached the boy asking if he could use the boy’s mobile phone hotspot to access the internet, but the boy said no with an excuse as he felt uncomfortable.

“Hobbes sat right behind the victim. The victim turned around and Hobbes headbutted him in the forehead and on the right side of the head”, said Cooper.

He continued: “The young man is petrified and shaking and calls a family member to meet him.”

“Mr Hobbes said, ‘watch your back now. If you leave the bus I will follow you and beat the s**t out of you’.

“This left the victim even more petrified.”

Hobbes went as if to headbutt him again through the window before leaving and being arrested a short time afterwards.

A victim statement read: “This incident left me absolutely terrified and it affected my mental health because people like him will be on the bus and will assault absolutely anyone.”

Gordon Hotson, representing Hobbes, said Hobbes thought the victim was older than 17, but “clearly stated the complainant was frightened and concerned about using the bus”.

The court heard Hobbes has a history of drinking and drank 21 cans a day at one point. He is reportedly proud of getting himself off drugs but had been drinking that day.

“He has no explanation why he behaved in that way after a bizarre conversation”, Hotson said, “but life is moving forward very positively for him.

“He is looking forward to being reunited with his two children later in the month.”

He has previous convictions for 57 offences, with two against the person. In 2011 he was convicted of assault on a police officer

The magistrate judged: “This is a very serious incident and we need more information on you before we can make a decision.”

A pre-sentencing report on Hobbes will be prepared by the probation service before he is sentenced on July 23. He was released on unconditional bail.