TWO thugs attacked a man and left him with a smashed eye and temporarily half-blinded after turning up at the home of the ‘local drug dealer’ in the early hours, a court heard.

A court heard how Anthony Pemberton was punched and kicked after Richie Gardiner and James Dean just walked into the property, his friend's house, and he had tried to get them to leave.

Mr Pemberton suffered a fracture to the floor of his right eye socket in the violence, last November 23.

His vision has now returned, but he still has headaches, memory loss and is concerned about going out at night. The victim has a trapped nerve and still suffers numbness to the right side of his nose, lip and upper right eye, but medical problems prevent surgery.

Gardiner, 20, of Commercial Street, and Dean, 22, of Hermitage Street, both Rishton, who both have criminal records, each admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm and were locked up for 20 months.

Stephen Parker, prosecuting, said at about 10pm, last November 22, Mr Pemberton went to the friend's home.

He remained at the house throughout the evening and by 6.30am he and his friend were in a bedroom talking when two men suddenly appeared at the bedroom door.

Mr Pemberton said something to the pair, they appeared to take issue with it, said they would do what they want and Dean told him: "I will cave your head in."

Gardiner joined in, asking the victim to apologise for the comment, a verbal exchange between the three followed and Mr Pemberton tried to get the defendants to leave. He was then assaulted.

The defendants were arrested, questioned and exercised their right to silence. Mr Pemberton later picked both of them out on a identification parade. Dean had 23 offences on his record while his co-defendant had 24 previous offences.

Daniel King, for Dean, said no weapon was used. The defendant knew the householder quite well and often visited. He went round for a few drinks, but for some reason, Mr Pemberton took exception to their arrival.

The defendant, now working at a precision moulding company, expressed genuine remorse.

Defending Gardiner, Robert Elias said the defendant, a landscape gardener, was due to become a father. The barrister added: "He is afraid of going to prison. He does seem to have settled down a bit."