A MAN who hit his neighbour in the face with a pickaxe handle avoided prison after he breached his suspended sentence.

Derek Gibbons, 54, left Martin Lynas with a fractured eye socket after the attack outside the property they shared in Ormsgill, Barrow.

Preston Crown Court heard last year Gibbons had lived at the flat with Hayley Ferriday, 29, for around three years before trouble started with Mr Lynas, who also lived in the same building.

Gibbons was brought back to court after breaching his suspended sentence and fined £50. He will face seven days in prison if he defaults on the fine.

On May 31 2019, Mr Lynas was taking the bins out when he encountered Gibbons and Ferriday drunk in the communal garden.

A row broke out between the trio and Gibbons and Ferriday claimed Mr Lynas had kicked their dog.

They went inside their flat but Mr Lynas followed and kicked and swore at the front door.

The couple came out and Ferriday punched Mr Lynas once, as Gibbons struck him repeatedly in the face with the handle of a pickaxe.

A neighbour saw the attack and called emergency services.

Gibbons and Ferriday were arrested and Mr Lynas was taken to hospital where a CT scan showed he had a fractured eye socket.

In a victim statement he told the court he suffers sharp stabbing pains to his face and feels anxious when he goes into Barrow town centre in case he meets his attackers, who have since moved away from Ormsgill.

Ferriday, of Ainslie Street, Barrow, and Gibbons, of Cross Street, Barrow, pleaded guilty to section 20 wounding and appeared at Preston Crown Court to be sentenced.

Recorder Robert Gioserano, sentencing, said: “This was not a pre-planned joint enterprise knowing a weapon was going to be used and each playing your full part in that.”

The court heard Ferriday is well regarded at work and was remorseful for her part in the attack, handing her a two year community order with 30 rehabilitation days, 150 hours of unpaid work, a three month curfew from 9pm to 6am and an £85 surcharge.

However he said Gibbons was in a very different position to his co defendant, as he has previous convictions for violence and continued to deny he caused the injury to Mr Lynas’s face.

He sentenced Gibbons to 16 months suspended for two years, with 200 hours of unpaid work, a six month curfew from 9pm to 6am, £500 compensation and a £140 surcharge.