A SEMI-professional footballer attacked a paramedic tending his sick friend.

The court was told how scaffolder Craig Williamson, 26, punched Andrew Duncan as he tried to stop him climbing in the ambulance.

The defendant was smoking at the time and the crew was treating patient Andrew Bennett with oxygen.

Father of two Williamson, who plays in the West Lancashire League, then struggled with police as they tried to arrest him.

Williamson, of Palmerston Street, Padiham, admitted assault by beating and resisting police.

He was fined £200 by Burnley magistrates and must also pay £50 compensation, £50 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Andrew Robinson, prosecuting, said the paramedics were dealing with a patient just before midnight outside the Starkie Arms in Padiham.

The man had chest pains and was being treated for inflammation of the lining of the heart, in the back of the ambulance.

Williamson pushed open the door, claimed it was his cousin and said he should be allowed to see him. He was smoking and the crew was worried as the patient was being treated with oxygen.

Mr Robinson said the paramedics tried to close the door but the defendant got agitated, was shouting and was preventing his friend being treated. Mr Duncan asked him to leave and the defendant punched him in the forearm.

Some of Williamson's friends pulled him away and the ambulance driver managed to close the door. The defendant then banged on the side of the vehicle and was shouting something like he was going to smash a window.

The prosecutor told the court when Williamson was told he was under arrest, he said "No way," was taken to the floor, continued to struggle, lashed out and hit a police officer. He was handcuffed. The defendant was questioned and made no comment.

Philip Turner, defending, said Mr Bennett was a close friend of Williamson and they had played soccer together in the North West Counties League.

The pair were in the Black Bull pub, Mr Bennett went missing and when Williamson went looking for him he discovered the ambulance outside.

Williamson had no recollection of hitting the paramedic but did not seek to challenge the prosecution case.

Mr Turner said the defendant was "lightly convicted" and added: "This was not motivated by violence but motivated by a concern for his friend."