A FURIOUS man attacked his close friend with a chisel following a fall out over his girlfriend, a court heard.

Mark Kearns was given a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to causing actual bodily harm to Phillip Walsh, his pal of 17 years, and to possessing an offensive weapon at Bolton Crown Court yesterday.

Rebecca Hirst, prosecuting, told Judge Timothy Stead how, on September 17 last year, Kearns visited the home of Mr Walsh’s mother in Tetbury Drive, Breightmet, and rang Mr Walsh 10 times, insisting that he speak to him.

The pair had fallen out a week earlier about Mr Walsh’s brother’s involvement with Kearns’s girlfriend. Ms Hirst said Mr Walsh and his mother tried to reason with Kearns, but then he pulled out a rusty metal and wooden chisel with a six-inch long blade and lunged at his friend with it.

The chisel pierced Mr Walsh’s clothing and grazed his upper left arm.

Kearns continued to try to punch and attack Mr Walsh with the chisel, on one occasion catching him on the head with the wooden handle, before walking away.

Mr Walsh was left with a half-inch cut to his head, bruises and a cut nose but refused hospital treatment following the incident.

Four days later he was arrested after banging on the windows of the mother’s house and, when interviewed by police, initially denied using a chisel, claiming it had been a hairbrush.

Simon Blakeborough, defending, said Kearns, aged 39, of Kentmere Road, Breightmet, had a history of drinking heavily and taking amphetamines and believed he had an untreated mental health problem.

Sentencing Kearns to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years with orders to participate in behaviour programmes, Judge Stead told him: “It is a worrying thing for someone to do to an old friend, even after a row.”

A restraining order was also made prohibiting Kearns from contacting Mr Walsh.