A MAN smashed up an ice cream van with a baseball bat in a violent attack on a busy main road.

Nehmaan Khan was one of seven men in two cars who pulled up by the van on Lever Edge Lane, Great Lever, at 2.15pm on March 2.

Children and other people were nearby as the men involved themselves in a violent confrontation, Daniel Lister, prosecuting, told Bolton Crown Court.

The incident was captured on CCTV from a nearby house and played in court to Recorder Mark Rhind QC.

Mr Lister told how 22-year-old Khan was banned from driving and already on bail for a previous offence of carrying an offensive weapon, when he drove a red VW Polo on Lever Edge Lane.

The Polo and a Toyota Yaris driven by another man, as well as the ice cream van, came to a halt and Mr Lister told how the van driver, Raheim Iqbal, carrying a screwdriver, climbed out of the vehicle and headed towards the other cars.

“There then followed a confrontation between the defendant, the other men from the cars and the man from the ice cream van,” said Mr Lister.

“The men from the cars armed themselves with items from those vehicles — a chain, a baseball bat and jump leads appear to have been used.

“It was a prolonged incident of violence involving a large group of men.”

Khan was seen going backwards and forwards from his car to the ice cream van and repeatedly smashing it with his baseball bat.

Khan, of Hamel Street, Bolton, pleaded guilty to affray and criminal damage.

Stephen Sweeney, defending, stated that it was an "ugly and quite unacceptable course of conduct" but stressed that, while the ice cream van was damaged, there was no harm to any person.

He appealed for Khan not to be jailed, stating that he now has two jobs, looks after his mother who suffers from long Covid and has distanced himself from people he previously associated with.

But Recorder Rhind told him the crime is so serious that a prison sentence was warranted and Khan wept in the dock as he was jailed for 12 months.

Recorder Rhind told him: "You were involved in an appalling affray on the streets.

"It is not clear to me what caused this incident — you have not disclosed in any great detail and there are no witnesses — but some sort of dispute occurred. Whether it was because of the way someone was driving or because of some other reason, I do not know.

"You stopped in the road outside houses and you were approached, clearly as some part of a confrontation. Your reaction, together with a large number of other people, was to take up a weapon and take part in, what can only be described, as a long, running battle."

Recorder Rhind said Khan's offending is made worse because he was on bail at the time for drug dealing and having a baseball bat but claiming that he was in fear and had been coerced.

"The video I have seen gives the lie to that account because you were a very willing offender on this particular day," said Recorder Rhind. "It was not just an ugly incident, but appalling. It is sort of incident that people see, hear or read about and makes them feel unsafe to live in their neighbourhoods."