A MAN attacked his next door neighbour, hitting him over the head with a house brick, after he complained about noise in the garden.

Bolton Crown Court heard how victim Sam Wright-Bole had lived next door to James Cunliffe in Wigan Road, Leigh, for around four years, but for the last six months had been disturbed by him and his girlfriend, Shannon Mather, rowing.

Juliet Berry, prosecuting, said that on June 22 the couple started arguing again in their garden.

“After a while Mr Wright-Bole shouted over the fence telling them to shut up and that he was sick of hearing them,” she said.

But Mather then spat at Mr Wright-Bole’s face and he spat back before turning and continuing some building work.

Seconds later Cunliffe and his girlfriend walked into Mr Wright-Bole’s garden.

“The defendant’s girlfriend had something in her hand but he wasn’t sure what it was and the defendant was stood behind her holding a house brick,” said Miss Berry.

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Mr Wright-Bole told them to leave but Mather walked towards him.

“He feared she was going to hit him with whatever it was in her hand so he pushed her,” said Miss Berry.

Cunliffe then hit him over the side of the head with the brick before the victim retaliated by punching him.

Miss Berry said Mather then hit Mr Wright-Bole over the head before leaving and returning a few seconds later.

“Mr Wright-Bole dragged her to the end of the driveway and the defendant reappeared with a brick and struck him approximately four times to the side of the head,” said Miss Berry.

Cunliffe and Mather ran off when Mr Wright-Bole’s friend arrived. The victim suffered swelling and a cut to the right side of his head and felt dizzy and sick.

In a statement he told the court that Cunliffe and his girlfriend, “had a massive impact on my life, not just as a result of this incident but their behaviour the last few months.

"They have made life hell for me, my wife and my daughter. who have lost sleep and are not happy being in our own home.My family and I are now living in fear that something like this could happen again.”

Cunliffe, aged 30, pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm.At the time he was subject to a suspended prison sentence for assault.

William McGill, defending Cunliffe, said at the time of the attack on Mr Wright-Bole the defendant had a problem with alcohol and had learnt that his mother was suffering from terminal cancer.

Mr McGill said Cunliffe is no longer with his girlfriend.

"He tells me he was very much acting in the interests of Miss Mather," said Mr McGill, who said that Cunliffe is suffering from scoliosis of the liver and may need a transplant.

Judge Graeme Smith sentenced Cunliffe to 15 months in prison plus a further 12 weeks for breaching his previous suspended sentence.

He told him: "Whatever the circumstances that led up to it, there was no justification for being in the garden of having a brick."

A restraining order was made banning Cunliffe from contacting his victim or going into his house or garden.