A MAN was punched to the ground during a ‘sustained’ alleyway assault caused by what his attacker said was an argument over an unpaid debt.

Burnley Crown Court heard Sean O’Callaghan, 30, of Belgrave Street, Nelson, had lost his temper when victim Keith Kavanagh had allegedly told him ‘what would happen if the debt wasn’t paid’.

But prosecuting Paul Cummings said it was the defendant and a second man who lured Mr Kavanagh to the alleyway off Barkerhouse Road, Nelson, on July 13 before punching him to the ground.

Once on the ground it was alleged Mr Kavanagh was kicked to the head, before being robbed of £240.

However, Mr Cummings said the prosecution were unable to prove if the victim had been kicked or by who. Or who had taken the money.

Therefore he offered no evidence to charges of robbery and wounding with intent. O’Callaghan did plead guilty to assault by beating.

Mr Cummings said: “The complainant is Keith Kavanagh. On July 13 he says he had been walking home from a shop. He said the defendant shouted for him to come across the road which he did. He followed him into an alleyway. Once there he noticed a second man.

“During the interaction the complainant was punched and fell to the ground. He says he was assaulted by being punched and kicked. He says he was aware that it was more than one person who carried out the assault. He was unable to say who did what to him. He says £240 which was in his back pocket was taken.”

Mr Cummings said Mr Kavanagh left the scene with blood pouring from his face and went to hospital. There were fears that he had suffered a fractured jaw but that proved not to be the case.

Defending, Philip Holden said: “My client said Mr Kavanagh invited him into the alleyway and was arguing and telling Mr O’Callaghan what would happen if he did not pay the debt that was owed. Mr O’Callaghan lost his tempter and hit him. The two men fell to the floor. Whether there was any kicking is up for debate.”

Judge Philip Parry said: “It was a sustained attack by you on Keith Kavanagh, you having lost your temper.”

O’Callaghan, who has 46 convictions for 91 offences, was jailed for seven months and two weeks.