A LOUT said to have smashed his way into a house with a baseball bat over a £4 debt almost paid the price with his liberty.

Philip Wilkinson, 46, of Walnut Street, Bacup, had turned up at the property on Manchester Road, Hapton, in the early hours, intent on getting back the money he claimed he was owed by the householder and threatening to kill him.

But, a court had earlier been told, the householder was not in and another man, Jordan Buckley, was subjected to his threatening behaviour and was put in fear of violence.

The defendant was subject to a crown court suspended prison term for wounding at the time and the incident meant he was staring jail in the face.

He had earlier appeared before Burnley magistrates, who had committed him to the town’s crown court for sentence. Wilkinson, then of Ruskin Grove, Hapton, was spared immediate custody when a judge gave him a chance and imposed another suspended term.

The defendant had admitted using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour and damage on August 1.

He received three months in prison, suspended for two years, with two years supervision.

The earlier hearing had been told how Wilkinson had appeared at the window of the house just after midnight, indicating he was owed £4.

Mr Buckley saw the defendant had a baseball bat and Wilkinson then proceeded to smash the window and climb into the house.

He threatened to kill the occupant and Mr Buckley called the police.

The court had heard how the defendant had been given six months in custody, suspended for 18 months, for wounding, last February.