Vicious attack which cost friendship

Blackpool Magistrates Court open day pre-pix.

Blackpool Magistrates Court open day pre-pix.

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A MAN who viciously attacked his best friend not only ruined their friendship, but also the chances of acting as best man at his wedding.

Iain Baxter headbutted his pal following a misunderstanding during a party at the victim’s address on Westfield Road, South Shore.

Preston Crown Court heard he needed seven stitches in his head and nose and has permanent scarring after the attack.

The 26-year-old defendant, of Arnott Road, South Shore, had earlier admitted unlawful wounding over the incident in February.

Jeremy Grout-Smith, prosecuting, said during the party, at about 1am the victim asked Baxter to go into another room for a chat. There was a misunderstanding about something to do with an address where Baxter had been living.

Both men had been sat down when the defendant got up and heabutted the victim “with some force”.

Baxter also apparently punched him.

The next day the defendant sent him a text message apologising for what had happened but the prosecution said the friendship was now over.

Mr Grout-Smith added “In a victim personal statement, he says he is deeply hurt by the incident. He was going to be best man at the defendant’s wedding.

“He can’t get his head around why he assaulted him.”

The defendant was a man of previous good character. Wayne Jackson, defending, said: “There seems to have been some misunderstanding about the nature of the conversation.

“The friendship is ruined. The victim was injured and the defendant has to live with that, that he is responsible.”

In a pre-sentence report, Baxter suggested he had feared an attack on himself at the time he lashed out.

Judge Recorder John Bromley-Davenport QC told Baxter: “It is very sad you and one of your closest friends should have parted company in this way. It is entirely due to your behaviour.”

Baxter was ordered to carry out 120 hours’ unpaid work. He must also pay £750 compensation.