A MAN working on his car at home was beaten by an attacker who accused him of complaining to police about his cousin burgling his house.

Peter Warne, prosecuting, told the Nightingale Court at Bolton Stadium how David Tonge first thought it was a joke when he felt himself being pulled from underneath the vehicle on August 29 last year.

"He thought it was initially some sort of jape practised by one of his friends," said Mr Warne.

But then he realised it wasn't when 37-year-old Gareth Lomax began raining blows down on him and stamping on his head.

"His impression was that the defendant had something between his fingers to cause more damage during these punches - he thinks a key or the like," said Mr Warne.

"The defendant pulled Mr Tonge's top over his head so he couldn't defend himself from the violence inflicted," said Mr Warne.

Lomax began shouting, "You've got my cousin charged" and told Mr Tonge to drop the charge against Barry Lomax, who had been accused of burgling the victim's home.

The court heard that, 10 minutes earlier, at 10pm, Gareth Lomax had entered the home of acquaintance Craig Johnson and punched him when the householder told him the phone he wanted to borrow was broken.

Both Mr Tonge and Mr Johnson suffered bruises and grazes and Mr Johnson's niece, Sian Rodzoch was pushed by Lomax as she tried to get him out of the house.

Lomax, of Longfield Road, Daubhill, pleaded guilty to three counts of assault and one of witness intimidation and appeared for sentence via a video link from prison.

Mark Friend, defending said Lomax, who has a lengthy criminal record for violence, had been staying out of trouble but had returned to misusing substances.

"His life, regrettably, had spiralled somewhat out of control," he said.

Recorder Peter Atherton sentenced Lomax to a total of nine months and nine weeks in prison.

"Offending like this is completely unacceptable," he told him.