FOUR men were involved in an altercation which started at the China Garden McDonald’s and escalated when one of them pulled out a hammer.

Liam Cassidy, aged 27, and Faustin Tangata, aged 25, were inside the McDonald’s in Derby Street and began trading words with two men visiting the drive through.

The four men drove round the corner to a car park in Houghton Street, seemingly to start a fight, but when Cassidy pulled a hammer from the boot of the car the other men fled.

The incident happened in the early hours of Thursday, May 10, and Cassidy and Tangata, appeared in Bolton Crown court for sentencing on Friday having pleaded guilty to separate offences at earlier hearings.

Counsel for the prosecution, David Lees told the court Cassidy and Tangata had left the McDonald’s and gone to their Ford in the car park.

Mr Lees explained how the scuffle started he said: “The altercation occurred, with Mr Cassidy staring, he shouted ‘what are you looking at?’ And Mr Wasim replied in similar terms ‘what are you looking at?’

“An argument proceeded and Mr Cassidy asked them to drive around the corner for a fight.”

After Cassidy had pulled out the hammer, belonging to Tangata, who was a mechanic at the time, the other men made to leave but one discovered his phone was missing and approached the pair again.

The pair, now in their car, were driving away “too fast” said Mr Lees and Tangata had to swerve out of the way of one of the men.

The incident began to escalate again when Cassidy got out of the car still holding the hammer and one of the other men had armed himself with a vodka bottle he found in a skip.

The court heard Tangata continued to drive around the car park in a dangerous manner while Cassidy and the other man had a verbal argument. The incident ended without injury and Cassidy and Tangata drove off.

Cassidy's defence counsel, Mr Evans, told the court his client has supporting two children and had been going through a break up in the lead up to the incident.

The court also heard how his employer relied upon him and called him "dependable" and "conscientious".

Tangata's defence counsel, Mr Bowker, explained that his client had been in work at the time of the incident and was looking to find work again. He said his client "accepts he needs to grow up". He added: "This was an ugly incident for a number of young men who have all made poor choices, Mr Tangata is one of them."

Tangata of Brierley Road East, Swinton had pleaded guilty to driving dangerously while over the alcohol limit. He was sentenced to an 18 month community order, to carry out a drink impaired drivers accredited programme, 30 days of rehabilitation and given a curfew. He was also disqualified from driving for three years.

Cassidy of Milner Street, Swinton, had pleaded guilty to affray. He was sentenced to 19 weeks in prison suspended for 18 months. He has been given 30 days of rehabilitation and 120 hours of unpaid work.