A DRUNKEN bully who left two women fearing for their lives has been spared an immediate jail sentence.

William O’Driscoll, 40, punched one woman in the back of the head, threatened to kill another victim – and told a cabbie he’d kick him in the testicles after trying to skip a £15 fare.

Sentencing the Swindon man to 22 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for 18 months, District Judge Joanna Dickens told him on Monday: “These are incredibly serious offences. Although you were not in a domestic relationship with your first victim there was clearly a breach of trust because you were friends with her. It’s bullying it seems to me – and it’s serious.”

Prosecutor Emma Charleton told Swindon Magistrates’ Court O’Driscoll’s first victim, a female friend, was punched on March 31, 2020, as she walked alongside the man while pushing her bicycle.

Barely a week later, on April 10, the man was drinking at her home when he went red in the face then punched her in the head and ribs. The attack left her with significant bruising. In a victim statement, the woman said: “I don’t know what he will do next. I’m scared he may end up killing me.”

On October 25, O’Driscoll threatened a woman in The Groves pub, Fleet Street. The woman was known to him; police had earlier issued him with a community protection notice banning him from going to the Railway Village, where she lived, which he admitted breaching three times since August.

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William O'Driscoll's custody shot Picture: WILTSHIRE POLICE

Ms Charleton said O’Driscoll, who was thought to be drunk, told the woman: “I’m going to kill you.” He left the pub but returned some time later. “You didn’t call the police, did you?” he asked her. The prosecutor read from the victim’s statement: “I replied ‘no’. I was scared because I knew other people had.”

Finally, on November 7, he tried to skip a £15 taxi fare – running off after asking the driver to pull over at a bus stop in Marlowe Avenue.

The driver gave chase and was confronted by O’Driscoll, who swung a bag at the man. “I’ll chin you. I’ll kill you. I’ll f***ing kick you in the b******s,” he said.

O’Driscoll, of no fixed address, admitted common assault, threatening behaviour, making off without payment and breaching a community protection notice.

Harriet Heard, defending, said her client had managed to kick his habit to alcohol while being held on remand over the past three weeks.

She asked the judge to consider imposing a suspended sentence so he could work with the probation service to address his addictions: “This is his best chance if he can start the alcohol treatment requirement when he’s dry.”

Under his suspended sentence, O’Driscoll must complete a six month alcohol treatment programme and 20 rehabilitation days with probation. He was given a two year restraining order banning him from speaking to the victim of the assaults in March and April.

Last month, O’Driscoll was given a County Court injunction banning him from the Railway Village or going to any Swindon Borough Council residential property.