A MAN punched his victim several times to ‘rough him up’ because he was bullying people at a sheltered housing complex, a court heard.

James Billingham landed himself in trouble after he assaulted a fellow resident at Glen Garth House in Barrow’s Abbey Road.

The 33-year-old claimed a man he punched at least 15 times had been bullying other residents.

He pleaded guilty to assault by beating when he appeared before South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court.

Prosecutor Lee Dacre said he punched the victim 28 times on June 26.

He said Billingham punched the victim in the stomach and the face but did not cause any injuries to the man.

The court heard he had a record of nine previous offences.

Billingham, who defended himself in court, contested the number of punches thrown.

He said: “What I would like to say is 28 punches is ridiculous.

“I wasn’t trying to injure him, I was trying to rough him up because he had been bullying people.

“You should not be going around bullying people.

“I shouldn’t have done it but needs must.”

The defendant said he had a ‘laundry list’ of mental health conditions, including bipolar and schizophrenia.

Magistrates sentenced the defendant to a fine of £200, a £34 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

Chairman Stephen Sim said: “We have listened to what you’ve said and we are going to fine you.

“It’s not a good idea to take things into your own hands. Just bear that in mind.”