A 73-year-old man hit his estranged wife with a pint glass when they met by accident at the Pendle Beer Festival in February 2020.

Blackburn magistrates heard the victim had gone to the festival with her daughter and an argument developed when she bumped into John Whittaker.

He hit her on the head with a glass which it was accepted by the prosecution had been reckless rather than deliberate.

Whittaker, of Reedyford Road, Nelson, pleaded guilty to assault. He was made subject to a community order for 12 months with 25 days' rehabilitation and a curfew for eight weeks between 8pm and 8am. He was ordered to pay £100 compensation, £350 costs and £95 victim surcharge.

Deputy District Judge Roger Lowe told Whittaker that if he had deliberately smashed the glass on his wife's head he would have been going to prison.

"When you grab hold of someone while you are holding a glass of beer in your hand there is a danger of committing an offence," said Deputy District Judge Lowe.

"I am satisfied you didn't realise you had the glass in your hand, it wasn't deliberate, and that is what has saved you from going to prison today."

Paul Sumner, prosecuting, said the couple had been married for 22 years but had been separated for 10 months at the time of the offence.

She went to the beer festival with her daughter and the defendant was there.

"An argument started and he hit her on the head with a glass in his hand," said Mr Sumner.

"The glass broke but she was not cut. He then grabbed her by the hair and staff had to intervene."

Jonathan Taylor, defending, said the incident had had a massive impact on his client.

"He is genuinely remorseful and wants to get it behind him and move forward with his life," said Mr Taylor.