A COUPLE'S 'play fight' ended in genuine violence.

Blackburn magistrates heard Robert Edwards was hit with a claw hammer and responded by punching the woman repeatedly about the body.

She asked him to leave but before he did he hit her again.

Edwards, 34, of Gannow Lane, Burnley, pleaded guilty to assaulting his partner.

He was made subject to a community order for 12 months with 25 days rehabilitation activity requirement, fined £100 and ordered to pay £100 compensation, £85 costs and £85 victim surcharge.

Parveen Akhtar, prosecuting, said the couple had been play fighting and neighbours had contacted the police because of what they heard.

"The woman explained to the officers that nothing had happened and they left," said Miss Akhtar.

"He went out for a walk and returned in a drunken state."

Miss Akhtar said they started to play fight again and at some stage the woman hit him on the leg with a claw hammer.

Mark Williams, defending, said the play fighting had been instigated by the aggrieved and she had picked up the hammer and hit the defendant.

"There were a number of blows after that and he accepts they were not in self defence," said Mr Williams.