A COMPANY boss who had been drinking wine and dining at a Michelin-star restaurant assaulted a man spreading grit when he refused to give him a lift home in his work’s van.

Blackburn magistrates heard Lloyd Spencer Green, 50, had spent the evening at Michelin-starred Northcote.

In the early hours of the morning, victim Roy Taylor was at Langho railway station spreading grit when he was approached by Green.

Mr Taylor told Green he could not give him a lift because he was working and his van was tracked and suggested he get a taxi.

Green remonstrated with his co-worker, Stuart Humphries, and tried to grab him through the open window of their van. Mr Taylor went to assist his partner and pushed Green away but was grabbed in a bear hug before being punched in the face.

Green, of Sough Lane, Guide, runs his own company, Marlie Civils Ltd, which has 100 employees. He pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Taylor.

Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said Mr Taylor and Mr Humphries worked for a gritting company and were at Langho station at 1.15am on February 10 to spread grit. He was approached by Green who asked for a lift and Mr Taylor explained he could not help. After gritting the platform the workers got back in the van and Green started chatting to him through the window.

“He suddenly grabbed Mr Humphries through the open window and tried to punch him,” said Mrs Yates. “Mr Taylor went to assist his friend and pushed the defendant with both hands on his chest, causing him to stumble and fall over.”

She said Mr Taylor turned to walk back to the van and was suddenly grabbed from behind before being punched in the face. The two men ended up scuffling on the floor and Mr Taylor remembered being hit a couple more times before Mr Humphries pushed Green off.

“They both got back in the van and drove up the lane and called the police,” said Mrs Yates.

“The defendant later told police he had been drinking wine at Northcote Manor and couldn’t remember the incident. He said he was appalled by his behaviour and would ‘happily’ give the victim a ‘couple of grand’ compensation.”

Colleen Dickinson-Jones, defending, said prior to the night of the incident her client had been on a diet and had lost three stone. The court heard the courses served were like tasters and wine was served after each course. “My client doesn’t normally drink and it had a bad effect on him,” she said. He was given a curfew, ordered to pay £400 compensation, £85 costs and a £90 victim surcharge.