A CHILD sex abuser was headbutted at court today before he was due to be sentenced, a judge was told.

Ian Hindle, 33, of Church Walk, Blackburn, was waiting for his case to be heard at Preston Crown Court when he was attacked inside the building this afternoon.

A 41-year-old man from Blackburn was arrested on suspicion of common assault and battery He was released on bail until early November.

Hindle’s barrister Ciaran Rankin had to ask Judge Philip Sycamore to initially postpone sentencing while Hindle gave a statement to police.

Hindle told his legal representative that he had been confronted and headbutted.

Speaking in court Mr Rankin said that Hindle's nose had been 'bust' and that he could not be sentenced because he needed to go to hospital to seek medical treatment.

Hindle had previously pleaded guilty to four counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child in the Blackburn area between August and November last year.

The case was abandoned and a trial of issue over the facts of the case will take place before sentencing.

Mr Rankin told the court: "He (Hindle) sees this as something consensual while she (the victim) was awake and fully aware of what was going on, while she says contrary and that she was asleep."

A date was set for November 20 for evidence to be presented via video-link, with sentencing expected immediately afterwards.

Co-defendent 49-year-old Andrew Wells, of Infirmary Street, Blackburn, will be sentenced at the same time.

He has previously pleaded guilty to two counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child - involving a different 14-year-old girl - and one count of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.