A CAREER criminal whose attempts to rob a kickboxing champion and her pal failed after they fought back has been jailed.

Thomas Fadian targeted Jodie Turner, 18, and Melissa Hunter, 20, as they were enjoying a night out in Paisley on December 30 last year.

However, the High Court in Edinburgh heard how 44-year-old Fadian picked on the wrong women when he tried to attack them in the town’s Netherhill Road.

The court was told that Miss Turner had won a kickboxing championship at the age of 12, while Miss Hunter's mum had taught her to defend herself if she was ever attacked.

When Fadian threatened to stab the women, Miss Turner fought back by shoving him and told him to “f**k off.”

Meanwhile, Miss Hunter aimed a kick at Fadian’s genitals and, although she failed to land a direct hit, still connected with his thigh, causing him to flee the scene.

Jurors convicted Fadian of attacking and attempting to rob Miss Turner following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow last month.

He was also convicted of assaulting Miss Hunter by punching her and demanding that she hand over her purse.

Sentence was deferred until last week for the court to obtain background reports.

Fadian, formerly of Glenburn, Paisley, struck after he was freed early from a six-year jail term for an armed raid at a cafe in Hardgate, West Dunbartonshire, in 2013.

Miss Turner told how she had been out for her sister’s birthday last December and, along with Miss Hunter, decided to walk home.

The pair were in Netherhill Road when Fadian approached them.

Miss Turner told how he grabbed her arm and tried to snatch her purse before warning her: “I will stab you.”

Fadian then turned on Miss Hunter, who also stood up to the thug.

She told the court: “I turned to kick this man, obviously in the privates area. I had been told by my mum that, if anyone tries to get hold of you, kick him where it hurts.”

Fadian fled the scene but was later identified by police and brought to justice.

When he appeared in the dock to learn his fate, judge Lord Summers sentenced him to six years in jail for the assaults and failed robbery bids.

He also ordered him to serve three years of his previous jail term.

Lord Summers told him: “We have heard how one of the complainers in this case followed the advice given to her by her mother – that, should she ever find herself in such a situation, she should respond by kicking her attacker in the privates.

“She did not connect with that body part and struck you in the thigh.

“The court has to make it absolutely clear that such attacks cannot and will not be tolerated. You have an appalling record and a prison sentence is the only disposal available to me in this case.”

Lord Summers also ordered Fadian to be supervised by the authorities for five years following his release from prison.