A MAN who assaulted a 62-year-old shopkeeper on Christmas Day later suffered some "street justice."

Blackburn magistrates heard Jonathan Michael O'Brien was attacked and his assailant later posted on facebook saying O'Brien thought he was hard attacking a 62-year-old.

The posting ended: "pathetic little b****, begging on the floor."

O'Brien, 37, of Pleasington Grove, Burnley, pleaded guilty to theft of a bottle of herbal schnapps from Warsi Foodstore and assaulting Sher Khan causing him actual bodily harm.

He also pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly in Todmorden Road and two offences of shoplifting from Londis on Lyndhurst Road, Burnley. He was jailed for 16 weeks.

Andy Robinson, prosecuting, said Mr Khan was standing outside his shop having a cigarette when he challenged O'Brien who was stealing a bottle of alcohol.

He told him to pay for it or put it back and O'Brien responded by punching him twice on the nose, once in the mouth and to the ribs.

"His mouth and nose started bleeding and he was very scared," said Mr Robinson.

"He was taken to hospital where he was told his nose was broken, a front tooth was loose and his ribs were sore," said Mr Robinson.

Daniel Frazer, defending, said the common theme to all his client's offending was alcohol abuse.

"He is trying to address that problem but accepts that at Christmas he had a relapse after a short period of sobriety," said Mr Frazer.

He said as a result of the Christmas Day incident some old-fashioned "street justice" had been administered.

Mr Frazer said in recent times a cousin of the defendant had died after taking diazepam to help him sleep.

He had been staying with another cousin who came into his room in the night and attacked his face with a knife.

"He had 96 stitches in his face as a result of that attack," said Mr Frazer.

"These are all things that pushed him back towards alcohol. He is trying to address his problems but he clearly needs help."