A DRUNKEN man kicked an elderly pensioner in the head and a woman in the neck in a violent rampage through Bolton town centre.

Bolton Crown Court heard how Thomas Major shouted abuse at shoppers as he walked through the streets on July 2.

And on Knowsley Street he encountered 74-year-old Dennis Pritchard, who was heading into the British Heart Foundation shop.

Colin Buckle, prosecuting, said: “Prior to going in Mr Pritchard was approached by the defendant. The defendant, for whatever reasons that are inexplicable, kicked the complainant in the face causing him to fall into the shop window, which has a metal shutter.

“Mr Prichard banged his head.”

Mr Pritchard, who lives in sheltered accommodation, is thought to had suffered a deep gash which needed stitches.

Not content with injuring a pensioner, Major verbally abused passers by.

“He approached a child, who was on their own, walking with a musical instrument and the defendant became aggressive and was getting into the child’s face saying, ‘What the f*** are you looking at?’” said Mr Buckle.

The child managed to get away but Major then turned his attention to Courtney Leach, who was walking with her partner and repeated the question.

“Miss Leach’s partner responded by telling him: ‘No one is looking at you — just chill out’,” said Mr Buckle.

Miss Leach turned to walk away and was knocked to the ground. Major had kicked her in the neck, leaving her dizzy and with ringing in her ears.

“It is deeply unpleasant behaviour,” said Mr Buckle.

Later that day, at 5.30pm, a driver on Belmont Road rang the emergency services to say he had hit a pedestrian.

The pedestrian, who was Major, was meandering in the road and, despite the driver slowing to 10mph, he walked into the side of the vehicle.

Major was abusive to paramedics who arrived at the scene and were trying to establish if he was injured.

Police arrested him and took him to the police station.

"There was a physical confrontation between the defendant and two police officers trying to get him into a cell," said Mr Buckle, who added that Major also refused to provide a sample to test for Class A drugs.

Major, aged 21, of Duke Street, Bolton, subsequently pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm, assault, threatening behaviour and refusing a drug test.

The court heard that he has previous convictions for violence and causing damage.

Martin Pizzey, defending, told Judge Timothy Stead that, on the day of the attacks, Major had been drinking heavily and fears his drink may have been spiked.

He said: "His behaviour, clearly, was very unusual and, so far as that behaviour is concerned, I am not instructed to explain it or make excuses for it.

"The defendant has no recollection and accepts it for what it is. It is not explainable.

"He is thoroughly ashamed and very upset by his own behaviour."

Mr Pizzey added that Major was homeless and living in a hostel at the time after a chaotic life resulting from a childhood marred by drink and violence.

He said that Major had refused to take the drug test because he was applying to join the Army and feared a positive result would ruin his chances.

"It is the case that this matter has been a rude awakening for him," said Mr Pizzey.

"He is very keen to change."

Judge Stead adjourned sentencing until September 12 to allow medical evidence about Mr Pritchard's injuries to be produced.

"It is a particularly serious case of its kind," he told Major, who was remanded in custody.