A DRIVER has told how he was beaten over the head with a wrench by a furious van driver who blocked the road.

Anthony Healey claimed Jordan Gardner came towards him "like a raging lunatic", laying into him with the weapon in the confrontation on Garnett Street, Ramsbottom.

Mr Healey recalled how blood was dripping from his head and face as the pair grappled on the ground before neighbours came out and his attacker fled in the van.

"I was in shock," said Mr Healey

In the first trial to take place at Bolton Crown Court since the coronavirus lockdown, Jon Close, prosecuting, told how, about a year before the incident, which took place on October 22, 2018, Mr Healey had had a dispute with 35-year-old Gardner, who worked collecting scrap metal.

The Bolton News:

"The defendant had been seen in the area by the complainant who took his photo because he believed he was behaving suspiciously," said Mr Close.

Mr Healey said he had seen Gardner coming out of a neighbour's back yard.

"He started going crazy then drove off, ranting and raving," said Mr Healey, who did not see Gardner again until the day of the alleged attack.

"No one knows what gave rise to the violence. It could have been this slight or an incident of road rage on the defendant's part," said Mr Close.

Mr Healey had attached a trailer to his car and was driving down Garnett Street towards Bolton Street when his way was blocked by a transit van.

The Bolton News:

Seconds later Gardner got out of the vehicle and headed towards Mr Healey's car, wrench in hand.

"He ran towards me and brandished it at the bonnet," said Mr Healey.

"I'll f***ing smash your car up and I'll f***ing smash you up," Gardner is alleged to have yelled.

Mr Healey told the court how he was trying to flee when he was hit behind the ear and above the eyebrow with the weapon, leaving cuts which bled badly

He said he tried to grab his attacker in a bear hug to disarm him and both men fell to the ground with Gardner below him.

Gardner then also threatened neighbours, asking them: "What are you going to do about it? Do you want some as well?"

He was arrested after police traced him from photographs the neighbours took.

Gardner, of Foxglove Close, Rochdale, denies causing grievous bodily harm and possessing an offensive weapon.

He claims he had remonstrated with Mr Healey after the car driver pulled out of a road unsafely and in a scuffle Mr Healey hit his head on the trailer.

The trial continues.