A FORMER county council worker who seriously assaulted a woman outside a nightclub has been jailed.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Steven Christopher Rooney knocked out his victim’s teeth after punching her outside the Voodoo Lounge in Accrington.

In a separate incident Rooney, 22, of Somerset Grove, Church, sexually assaulted a woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

he court was told when interviewed about the assault Rooney, who now works as a welder and assembler, told police he had been acting in self-defence during the incident.

But prosecutor Jacob Dyer said the defendant, who worked as an apprentice civil engineer with the count council before his offending came to light, had used ‘excessive force’.

In a victim personal statement, summarised in court by Mr Dyer, the assault victim said she had lost all confidence and was now concerned about having her photograph taken because of the injuries she suffered.

She added: “I would have taken a broken nose or broken jaw than having my teeth knocked out.”

Rooney, who had no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and sexual assault.

Defending, Jed Doran said: “In terms of the assault occasioning actual bodily harm the defendant makes the point the complainant in this case was lashing out.

"She reports she hit him first.

"When the police spoke to the complainant at the hospital they warned her she might be charged with assault as they had seen CCTV and she had hit him first.

“He accepts that he punched the complainant.

"It must be conceded, judging the effects of the blow, that excessive force was used.”

The defence barrister added: “He plainly is from a supportive family that can provide him with support going forward. He is in employment.

"He works for a firm in Altham as a welder and assembler.

Jailing Rooney for 12 months, Judge Jonathan Gibson, said: “There can be no blaming of the complainant.

"At the end of the day you hit her disproportionately and caused a very very nasty injury to her mouth.”

Rooney was ordered to sign the sex offender’s register for 10 years.

A restraining order was also imposed banning Rooney from contacting the victim or her mother directly or indirectly for 10 years.