Peter Scotter, 61, booted her as she sat on her sleeping bag outside B&M’s store at Roker Retail Park, at 8.40pm on Monday, April 12 last year.
The woman also told police he struck her twice more, on the right side near the stomach, and towards her back.
Scooter, of Hendon Close, denied those allegations and entered a guilty plea to assault by beating solely on the basis he kicked her once in the head.
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That plea was accepted by magistrates at a special hearing.
Prosecutor Emma O’Hegarty revealed Scotter had a lengthy criminal record of 74 previous convictions from 166 offences.
Greg Flaxen, defending, said: “Mr Scotter had not set out for violence that day. He has been asked for money and has taken umbrage.
“He told the injured party that she should get a job and she spat at him and he has reacted. I don’t condone the spit and I don’t condone the kick.
“He’s a man who has been before the court numerous times on many offences, but there has been a gap.
“I dealt with his last case and thought that would be the last I’d see of him.
“He accepts that alcohol has been an ongoing problem throughout his career of criminality.
“His long-term partner is now at the point of ‘quit the drink or go’.”
Mr Flaxen added that Scotter had been accepted onto an alcohol treatment programme, an opportunity for change he had never before had.
Magistrates told Scotter his offence was aggravated by him being drunk and because of his history of offending.
They sentenced him to a two-year community order, with 25 rehabilitation days and an alcohol treatment requirement.
He must also complete 100 hours of unpaid work and pay his victim £100 compensation, with a £95 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.