The assault, which shocked Italy, occurred last November in the seaside town of Ostia, near Rome.

Daniele Piervincenzi, who works for the Rai national television broadcaster, was asking the brother of a jailed mafia boss about his political allegiances when he was set upon while a camera was rolling.

Questioned on his ties to the far-right CasaPound movement, Spada suddenly lunged and head-butted the reporter, breaking his nose, before pulling out a cosh, hitting him and chasing him down the street.

Spada was arrested for assault aggravated by mafia-style violence, with prosecutors saying his behaviour was typical of methods used by organised crime groups to control territory.

Spada's accomplice in the assault, Ruben Nelson Alvarez del Puerto, was jailed for six years.

The sentence is slightly less that the eight years and nine months called for by the public prosecution.

According to Italian media, the sentence also calls for one year's probation at the end of the prison sentence and compensation to be paid to Piervincenzi and his cameraman Edoardo Anselmi, who was also targeted in the attack.

The Spada clan is notoriously violent.

Seven members of the family were sentenced to a combined 56 years in jail in October 2017, and Roberto's brother Carmine was ordered to serve ten years in 2016 for extortion and mafia association.