A BOLTON man has been given an 18-month suspended prison sentence for attacking a neighbour - leaving the victim “nervous” about leaving his home.

Bolton Crown Court heard Anton David Melling, 47 of Red Lane, ran into his neighbour Michael Holland’s garden and punched and kicked him.

Mr Holland’s mother and sister along with another sister and her children were in the house at the time, the court heard.

In a statement, Mr Holland said: “The incident has really shocked me, Anton is a large man and he just flew at me across the garden. I’m really nervous when I go outside and I fear he will hurt me again.”

Prosecutor Chloe Fordham said Mr Holland had been left with swelling and soreness on his head and the left side of his body and arm.

Melling and Mr Holland had known each other for three years and there was “significant history” between them.

The assault, on July 10 began, according to the prosecution, when Melling began staring at Mr Holland only to then accuse Mr Holland of staring at him.

Mr Holland has been drinking larger at the time but says he was not drunk. Melling then ran into the garden.

Mr Holland added: “The next thing I knew, I was on the floor.”

After kicking Mr Holland on the floor, Melling then argued with the rest of the Holland family/ Defence counsel Michael Lee said there were several mitigating circumstances.

He said: “Mr Melling has, to his immense credit, dragged himself out of a difficult upbringing.”

Melling had admitted to the assault at the earliest possible opportunity and had no previous convictions, he added.

The court heard Melling had shown remorse, had a good job and was needed as a carer for his 11-year-old child with autism.

Passing sentence, Recorder Andrew Long, also imposed 15 rehabilitation activity days, ordered Melling to pay £500 compensation and a three-year restraining order.