A drunk, angry thug with more than 100 offences for battery and assault to his name, breached a violent offender order which prohibited him from entering any pub, bar, or club in Blackburn town centre.

During the breach, which saw James Butterworth enter Bar Ibiza in Mincing Lane, Preston Crown Court heard he assaulted his then partner’s nephew, grabbing him by the scruff of the neck and pushing him.

Butterworth, 41, was handed the five-year violent offender order in 2020 following multiple incidents of drunken fighting, assaults and violence in Blackburn.

The court was told he had previously breached the order while drunk, but ironically, on this occasion on October 4, 2023, Butterworth had not been drinking, and claimed to have “been sober”.  

Prosecuting, Nicholas Roxborough, said: “The victim in this case is Dale Cook, and in the weeks before the offence, Butterworth had commenced a relationship with Mr Cook’s aunt, Joanne Batty.

“The defendant had previously bullied Mr Cook about how he talked.

“On October 4, both men were in Bar Ibiza with another man.

“Mr Cook had been drinking and left the pub for a few hours before he returned and met Butterworth briefly in Sam’s Bar.

“They both then headed back to Bar Ibiza.”

While in Bar Ibiza, Mr Roxborough said the men noticed an unknown male staring at them.

Butterworth told Mr Cook to go and speak with him, but when Mr Cook returned and explained to Butterworth that the man had said “sorry”, Butterworth became agitated and turned on Mr Cook.

Mr Roxborough went on: “He got angry and grabbed Mr Cook and raised him up by the collar and shouted at him, ‘stop being a bitch, why are you crying, get out’, before pushing him.

“They left and walked towards Joanne Batty’s house, with Butterworth continuing to call Mr Cook names before pushing him into a ginnel.”

Butterworth, of Blackburn Road, Rishton, pleaded guilty to assault by beating and failing to comply with a violent offender order.

He has 57 convictions for 113 offences, which include multiple assaults, battery, breach of suspended sentences, breach of community orders, and failing to comply with the current violent offender order in 2021.

Mitigating for Butterworth, Ellen Shaw said: “He was sober at the time of the offences, he went into town and was drinking soft drinks.

“We cannot say it was the same old pattern of behaviour. He committed these and should have known better.

“He’s someone who’s had significant problems and all of his other offence have been committed in drink. But he’s sober and has remained so for a year now.

“It’s not the most serious assault, it’s someone getting irritated by another and pushing them.”

Recorder Kevin Slack said: “You have an appalling record.

“The purpose of this order is to prevent further instances of violence.

“There’s been a deliberate breach of the order and low and behold, in the context of breaching it, a further incident of violence has occurred.

“The incident was short lived but nevertheless it was a frightening incident for the victim, who says that he is scared of you and fears that you may try to assault him again.

“You are at high-risk of reoffending.”

Butterworth was jailed for eight months and was handed a five year restraining order in respect of Mr Cook and Ms Batty.