A FORMER soap star beat up his neighbour after the man turned up at his home with a baseball bat.

Clinton Kenyon, who played a footballer in the 1990s Sky 1 soap Dream Team and appeared in Channel 4 drama Queer as Folk, pleaded guilty to unlawfully wounding Carl O’Brien.

The two men had a long standing grudge and Mr O’Brien had sent an abusive text message to Kenyon last October.

After receiving an abusive text in reply, Mr O’Brien became angry and turned up at Kenyon’s home in Rupert Street, Great Lever, armed with an 18-inch baseball bat.

Paul Dockery, prosecuting, said when Kenyon did not answer the door, Mr O’Brien smashed a pane of glass. Kenyon went outside and the men confronted each other.

Mr Dockery added: “Mr O’Brien swung at the defendant, striking him on the side of the torso.

"Mr Kenyon made a grab for the bat and they fell to the floor. Kenyon wrestled the bat off Mr O’Brien and used it to hit him across the head at least four times, resulting in him needing 18 stitches to four cuts."

Kenyon admitted the assault when arrested by police. Elizabeth Dudley-Jones, defending, said Kenyon, aged 36, accepted responsibility.

She said Kenyon was now unemployed, but had been a highly regarded actor.

She added: “He had an incredibly successful career. Sadly, mental health meant he had to take a different course.”

Judge Elliot Knopf said he accepted Mr O’Brien had provoked the attack. He added: “Striking someone to the head with a bat is an extremely dangerous thing to do.”

But he added that in the circumstances he was taking a lenient view of sentencing and gave Kenyon a 12-month community order. He must also take part in an activity programme and not contact Mr O’Brien.

Last July, Mr O’Brien was fined £145 by magistrates and ordered to pay Kenyon £100 compensation after pleading guilty to carrying an offensive weapon and damaging the door pane.