A FOOTBALLER who repeatedly punched a woman in the head before dragging her along the pavement by her hair in front of horrified New Year revellers has been jailed.

Andrew Akingbaje, 24, was branded "dangerous to women" by the judge who locked him up.

The national newspapers reported Akingbaje had signed a contract with Accrington Stanley at the age of 21.

However the club stated that it does not have a record of Andrew Akingbaje signing a contract.

A club spokesman said that Akingbaje may have undergone trials with the League One club, but he did not play for it professionally.

Akingbaje had pleaded guilty to pummelling 21-year-old Krystal Mission outside a south London nightclub in the early hours of January 1 this year.

The sickening attack was caught on camera outside Lotus in Clapham, and footage of the beating went viral online.

In the clip, shocked revellers watched as Akingbaje rained down punches on the unsuspecting woman's head before running off.

In another attack, which happened moments before, he punched Miss Mission several times before dragging her along the pavement by her hair.

The victim now suffers panic attacks and says she has been too frightened to go out in London since.

The fracas kicked off after a group of women, all wearing blue wigs, approached him after a petty argument with Miss Mission and her friends over queue jumping which escalated.

Patricia May, prosecuting, told Inner London Crown Court that Miss Mission was out that night with three of her friends.

She said: "They were queueing up when some females distinguished by wearing blue wigs barged into the queue and then accused Krystal and her friends of having pushed in.

"Everyone went into the club and there was no trouble in the club, but there came a time about 3am when Krystal and her friend were in the bathroom when one of the women in blue wigs came in and threatened them.

"It's at that point that they decided that they should go but the blue wigs group came out to them, accosted them outside the premises, and by the conclusion were apparently trying to provoke them.

"The girls were having none of that. One went to call a cab and in the meantime the blue wigs group got into a black range rover and Krystal and her friend walked back towards the bar.

"It was at that point when they were crossing the road when the defendant came up and punched Krystal several times causing her to fall to the ground.

"Her friends tried to rescue her, but in the course of fending them off he hit both of them as well and then dragged Krystal along the ground.

"It was at that stage when she managed to get up from the ground and get herself upright when somebody, who turned out to be a street warden who was mistaken for a bouncer, saw the aftermath of this, grabbed hold of her, thinking that he was protecting her.

"It was by this stage that the defendant and the blue wigs group again came up to Krystal and it was a this time that the friend started recording on her phone.

"While she was being held the defendant handed his mobile phone to another person then came right up to her as she was being held and punched her very viciously on the face several times."

The attack left Miss Mission with bruises on her face and arms along with grazes in her legs.

She was taken to hospital where doctors thought she might have concussion so gave her advice before sending her home.

In a statement read by Ms May, the victim said: "My face took a couple of weeks to heal.

"It hurt to put my clothing on.

"For the first couple of weeks it hurt when I bathed.

"I was upset for a week constantly.

"I would break down into tears.

"If someone brought it up to me I would get very upset and cry.

"I would have flashbacks that mimicked him hitting me that would wake me up.

"I had a panic attack when I went out the next time. I have not been out in London since."

The 15 second video went viral after Miss Mission posted it to social media in a bid to trace her attacker.

The father of one, from Brixton, previously pleaded guilty to one count of actual bodily harm having disputed some facts, claiming he had been provoked and spat on by the victim.

The father-of-one, from Brixton, previously played for non-league Peckham Town and was also on the radar of Championship club Charlton Athletic.

Bethany Condron, in mitigation, said: "He accepts that there were two assaults and he accepts responsibility for them."

Two other counts of assault by beating against two of Miss Mission's friend were ordered to lie in file.

Sentencing Akingbaje to 32 months in prison, judge Mark Bishop said: "I have seen the film and it's a chilling piece of violence against a woman.

"On January 31 you pleaded guilty to this count but on a limited basis, claiming that the victim had been assaulted before and you weren't responsible for those injuries and that she tried to attack you and she had spat at you.

"That basis of plea was not accepted by the prosecution.

"You then confirmed in open court that you were pleading guilty in a full facts basis, in other words that you were not maintaining your previous plea.

"However, in a pre-sentence report after that I read that you were maintaining to the probation officer that same version of events minimising your culpability.

"That demonstrates a continuing lack of insight into your continuing violent behaviour towards a woman.

"I therefore do find find that expression of remorse particularly persuasive.

"In 2013 you sold drugs and received 13 months in a young offenders institute, and in 2017 a conviction of wounding your partner for which you were sentenced to 18 months imprisonment."

He added: "The writer of the pre-sentence report says that you are dangerous in the meaning of the law, there was an emerging pattern of violence - particularly towards women.

"I'm satisfied that you do pose a serious risk, particularly towards women. You are dangerous to women, in my judgement."