A PRISON officer was left suffering minor brain damage when he tried to break up a pub fight.

Barry Bishop was smashed over the head with a piece of wood in a beating which left one witness fearing he would be killed, Burnley Crown Court heard.

Andrew Andrew was jailed for 15 months.

Sentencing the defendant, who has previous convictions for public disorder and possessing an offensive weapon, Judge Raymond Bennett, who said: " Most barristers will tell you they have prosecuted or defended people who did what you did and whose actions resulted in death."

The judge ordered Mr Bishop be given £300, but said it was not as compensation for his injuries but to recognise his public spiritedness.

Andrew, 21, of Carr Mount, Rawtenstall, had earlier admitted assault causing actual bodily harm.

Tim Ashmole, prosecuting, said Mr Bishop was with his wife in the Railway Tavern, Rawtenstall, having a meal. He tried to stop a fight between two men at the bar.

He was hit on the back of the head, went to the toilet to put water on his face and then saw the landlord's son arguing with some youths.

The victim got involved again and the defendant ran at him and hit him on the head. Mr Bishop went down on his hands and knees, was struck on the arm and remembered a weapon being used. The weapon broke in the process.

Phillip Holden, defending, said the incident, which started in the pub and spilled out on to the pavement, had been very unsightly. It was conceded people who used weapons to hit people on the head often went to prison.