‘TURF wars’ led to a window cleaner attacking a rival and threatening to ‘rip off his head’, a court heard.

Burnley magistrates were told how Andrew Bond, 39, set upon Paul Bailey in front of customers, after Bond was said to have flouted ‘window cleaning etiquette’ and poached the victim’s patch on a Padiham housing estate.

Bond nudged Mr Bailey so hard he knocked him off balance.

The victim, who had thought he was going to be headbutted as he fell to the floor, was then hit in the face by the defendant who used a ‘martial arts-type manoeuvre’.

Bond, who had a record for violence, was fined and has now been banned from approaching or communicating with Mr Bailey or his colleague Lee Rushton, under a six month restraining order.

The defendant, of Oat Street, Padiham, admitted assault by beating on January 24.

Claire Grant, prosecuting, said Mr Bailey, who is in his forties, and Mr Rushton were working in Wordsworth Avenue, Padiham.

Mr Bailey had been cleaning windows for more than 11 years.

Last November, he and Bond had words about each having their own patch, the court heard.

The defendant said he would fight Mr Bailey at the gym over it. He told the victim he did martial arts and they should sort things out that way.

Ms Grant said: “Mr Bailey wanted to let matters lie. It would seem they did lie until January 24. He just wants to be able to get on with his job and his business, upon which his family rely.”

She said Bond had been jailed for grievous bodily harm in 2003 and had convictions for other assaults.

Bond, who was not legally represented, said: “There is no window cleaning etiquette. The original owner didn’t sell the round. When I knocked on those doors, I was told: ‘Oh, good, we haven’t had a window cleaner on here for years’.”

The defendant said he was 12 per cent disabled, after a nine and a half ton JCB drove over his leg in 2007 and he went up his ladders ‘very slowly and very carefully’.

He said: “Martial arts? No thanks. I am not a violent person, believe it or not. The case where I got sent to prison was a crime of passion. My heart got the better.

“Did I do this? No. Am I willing to take it on the chin just to get it out of the way, forget the whole thing? Yes."

Bond was fined £30, with a £15 victim surcharge and must pay Mr Bailey £75 compensation. The bench, who said they did not feel the assault was pre-meditated, added there had been ‘a long history of antagonistic behaviour between both parties’.

They added, in imposing the restraining order, that they were keen not to stop the defendant earning a living.