A WEST Cumbrian man attacked his next-door neighbour as a row over a child’s football landing in his garden turned violent.

The flashpoint came after 44-year-old Jack Crone swore at his neighbour's child relative because he had clambered over a wall to retrieve his ball, which he had inadvertently kicked onto his land.

After receiving an 'angry' text message about his language from the neighbour, Crone went to the man’s front door and attacked him, knocking out two of his teeth, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

A witness described the assault as 'absolutely brutal'.

The defendant, of Arlecdon Road, Arlecdon, Frizington, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm on his neighbour.

Prosecutor Andrew Evans outlined the facts.

He said there was 'bad blood' between the neighbours and the violence erupted on May 7 last year following the football incident. The neighbour reacted when told the child was sworn at by sending Crone an 'angry and threatening' text message.

Mr Evans said: “The defendant reacted by going to [his] front door.” The neighbour at this point emerged from the rear of his property carrying a broom and the two immediately clashed.

“Mr Crone rapidly gained the upper hand. He's 14 years younger than his neighbour and of a larger build."

Another neighbour who saw what happened described how the older man sat upright on the ground, holding his hands out in front of him as if trying to protect himself, or gesturing to say he had had enough.

The witness said: “I then saw the defendant punch [him] directly in the face five or six times with his right fist. I could clearly see that these punches contacted with [his] face, landing on his left cheekbone area.

“The punches were delivered very quickly.”

That phase of the attack ended as the victim’s wife came from the house, 'shouting and screaming' and the neighbour managed to stand, at which point Crone delivered another punch to his face.

The witness concluded: “At no point did I see [the victim] fight back… all that I saw was what I would describe as a cowardly attack on a defenceless man that was absolutely brutal.”

The row erupted after a child's football landed in the gardenThe row erupted after a child's football landed in the garden (Image: Pexels)

The victim suffered facial swelling, a headache, a bloodshot eye, and a 'grossly swollen' nose, which was left 'deviated to the right,' which needs corrective surgery.

In an impact statement, the man said he suffered flashbacks and nightmares, and that the attack traumatised his family, and cost him financially because of time away from work.

Iain Simkin KC said the two men did not now speak to each other. References for Crone spoke of a 'very different person' that that indicated by the offence outline.

The barrister said: “He accepts he caused all of those injuries and that he himself was unscathed; and that this was completely unacceptable behaviour.”

Judge Michael Fanning told Crone that such violence can have the 'most appalling outcomes', but thankfully this was not such a case.

Judge Fanning said the defendant was a powerfully built man, who left his victim “battered, bruised, with blood in the whites of his eyes, and with two teeth lying on the ground."

Children should not witness such violence, said the judge, though he accepted also that Crone received a 'provocative' text message from the victim, who came to the door 'brandishing a broom'.

“With drink on board, perhaps that was enough to make you lash out,” said the judge. “You accept you went over the top and you acknowledge that this was not self-defence.”

He imposed an 18-month jail term, suspended for a year.

Crone must observe 120 day of alcohol abstinence, which will be electronically monitored. Judge Fanning added: “If there is any more aggravation between the two of you, you need to be very careful.”