A MAN who went to a pub to stick up for his brother ended up assaulting a female customer.

Blackburn magistrates heard Andrew Eric McDermott was throwing punches at a male friend of the victim and she was struck as she tried to calm the situation.

McDermott, 26, of Holden Fold, Darwen, pleaded guilty to assaulting Regan Duerden and criminal damage to a window belonging to Abdullam Housing.

He was made subject to a community order for 12 months with a six-month alcohol treatment programme requirement and 20 days' Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. He was fined £472 with £100 compensation to Miss Duerdan, £100 to Abullam Housing, £150 costs and £95 victim surcharge.

He was made subject to an 18-month restraining order which prevents him entering the Havelock pub, Mill Hill, where the assault took place or The Vic on Darwen Street, Blackburn, where Miss Duerdan works.

Andy Robinson, prosecuting, said Miss Duerdan had met the defendant’s brother while she was working at The Vic. She had a conversation with him and later spoke to him on social media.

“She made it clear she only wanted to be friends and didn’t want a relationship although she wasn’t sure the defendant’s brother fully understood that,” said Mr Robinson.

“On the day of the incident there was social media contact and one of her friends had said something about the brother which angered McDermott and he said he was coming to the pub and dared the individual to repeat what he had said to his face.”

Mr Robinson said that half an hour later McDermott turned up at the Havelock demanding to know who had been saying things about his brother.

“He started throwing punches at a friend of Miss Duerdan's and she tried to get between them,” said Mr Robinson. “One of the punches hit her on the side of the face.”

In a victim personal statement, Miss Duerdan said since the incident she had suffered sleepless nights as a result of anxiety and had suffered panic attacks. She said her right eye had been affected and her hearing and she had suffered migraines.

Mr Robinson said the damage was not related. The occupant of the house was at home when he heard a bang on his kitchen window. He looked out and saw McDermott holding a wheelie bin above his head.

“As he watched he threw the bin at the window, causing it to smash,” said Mr Robinson.

Ben Leech, defending, said there had been earlier incidents involving his client’s brother who was a vulnerable adult with learning difficulties.

“His understanding was that fun had been poked at his brother and he went to the pub to protect him,” said Mr Leech. “He accepts Miss Duerdan was trying to calm him and he inadvertently caught her during his dispute with another male.”

Mr Leech said McDermott had been in the house where the window was broken. He had become involved in an argument about his ex-partner and had been pushed out of the house and told to leave.

“In frustration he picked up the bin and threw it at the window,” said Mr Leech.