A FATHER-of-one split open a man’s head by hitting him with a large pebble.

Burnley Crown Court heard Gareth James Thomas Haworth attacked James Edwards after the victim’s girlfriend’s sister had come back from a night out and began waking up neighbours by shouting in the street.

Prosecutor Stephen Parker said, while on bail for that offence, Haworth spat in the face of two police officers who had been sent to arrest him over his drunken conduct in Accrington’s Ibar.

Mr Parker said at 11.30pm on September 12, last year, the sister of Mr Edwards’ girlfriend Johanne Embley had been disturbing residents in Rutland Close, Clayton-le-Moors.

The court heard there was a verbal exchange between Haworth, Mr Edwards and Ms Embley, with the latter unleashing a foul-mouthed volley of abuse about his mother.

When Haworth responded by telling her to shut her mouth, Mr Edwards called him a ‘useless maggot’.

Haworth told Mr Edwards to get outside because he was going to deal with him.

Haworth then went into the block of flats and began kicking and banging on Ms Embley’s front door.

Mr Edwards opened the front door and was immediately attacked.

Mr Parker said: “Before he had the chance to say anything, the defendant took a swing at him with his right hand. He felt something hard connect with his right temple. That appeared to be a stone or pebble.”

Mr Parker said the victim realised he was bleeding from his head and noticed a large pebble on the landing which hadn’t been there before.

After delivering the single blow, 33-year-old Haworth ran from the flats and into the street. Mr Edwards went to hospital for treatment on a 4cm cut to his scalp that required gluing.

Haworth, who works in driveway construction, was interviewed by police and accepted the altercation but denied he was responsible for the assault.

It was while he was on bail for that offence on September 7 of this year that he spat at two PCs as they put him in the back of a police van after the incident at the Ibar.

Mr Parker said Haworth also attempted to kick the officers but missed. As a result he was PAVA sprayed.

Mr Parker said when Haworth was taken to Greenbank Police Station he was put in an anti-ligature suit, which he removed and then flushed down the toilet, causing it to block.

Haworth, of Rutland Close, Clayton-le-Moors, who has 26 convictions for 57 offences, pleaded guilty to wounding without intent, two counts of assaulting an emergency worker and criminal damage.

Defending, Stella Hayden, said her client had been diagnosed as suffering with emotionally unstable personality disorder and his fight or flight instinct tended to be towards the former.

She said: “He does accept responsibility and shows remorse for the actions he took on both occasions.”

Judge Sara Dodd sentenced Haworth to 21 months custody, suspended for two years, with 50 rehabilitation activity requirement says and 150 hours unpaid work.