A MAN punched a woman in the face after accusing her of posting comments about him on social media.

Bolton Crown Court heard how Elizabeth Kearsley was walking on Beechcroft Avenue, Breightmet, on February 27 last year, on her way to her mother’s home when she saw Daniel Cook riding a bicycle.

Robert Smith, prosecuting, said she smiled at him but was taken aback when he was abusive in return.

“She was rather shocked by his response and confused by it,” he said.

Ms Kearsley continued walking along Stanworth Avenue and then she noticed Cook was riding alongside her.

The court heard how 36-year-old Cook told her he was going to “smash her head in” before he got off the cycle and stood close to her.

“She thought he was going to spit in her face and turned her head away from him,” said Mr Smith.

But instead he punched her in the face, leaving her with a suspected fractured jaw, before riding off.

Cook later told police problems had been caused in his relationship because Ms Kearsley had supposedly put a post on social media claiming he had been unfaithful.

He initially denied punching her after spotting her in the street, but then, on the day of his trial, pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm.

The court heard that Ms Kearsley had previously suffered a jaw injury and was left in pain by Cook’s attack.

Nicholas Ross, defending, said Cook, of Hengist Street, Bolton, used to use amphetamines but has now been drug free for eight months. He also has a stable relationship and his partner is expecting his baby.

“Things seem to be heading in the right direction for Daniel Cook,” said Mr Ross.

“He very much regrets his behaviour.

“Whether this was a red mist descending or the influence of drugs, ultimately, he accepts he was at fault.”

Judge Graeme Smith sentenced Cook to 23 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months and ordered him to undertake 60 days of unpaid work plus 15 days of rehabilitation activities.

The court heard that Cook has been in contact with Ms Kearsley since the attack.

“You have apologised directly to her and she has commented that you need help,” Judge Smith told him.