Game of chess led to attack on neighbour

A man could be sent to jail after an unprovoked attack on his neighbour after they played chess together.
A man could be sent to jail after an unprovoked attack on his neighbour after they played chess together.

A 55-year-old man, who attacked his next-door neighbour while they were playing chess, could face being locked up.

Neil Hannah, who had been drinking, thumped William Shuttleworth for no reason when a happy evening turned into "unprovoked" violence, Burnley magistrates were told.

The court heard Hannah, who left his victim upset and with visible head injuries, was in breach of a suspended sentence imposed at the town's crown court.

Hannah had admitted 13 allegations of possessing or making an indecent photo after police found 126 child porn images on his computer. He had received 20 months in jail, suspended for two years, in January last year.

Hannah, of Hallam Road, Nelson, admitted assault by beating on Saturday, April 8th. He was committed to the crown court to be sentenced in June.

Prosecutor Miss Parveen Akhtar told the court that at about 7pm the defendant and the victim, who had lived next door to each other for about three years, had been talking and playing chess and were very happy.

Miss Akhtar said: "The victim says Mr Hannah had been drinking but he can't say what but it might have been whisky.

"About 45 minutes later, the defendant's mood changed for no reason whatsoever. Mr Shuttleworth had not said anything to upset the defendant. The defendant's attitude completely changed and he became verbally aggressive.

"Mr Shuttleworth says he was walking towards his house when all of a sudden there was the defendant and he punched him for no reason. He couldn't understand it. "

Miss Akhtar said an ambulance was called and Mr Shuttleworth was taken to Airedale General Hospital. He had suffered bruises to his head and a gash to his left temple.

The prosecutor added: "He was upset by the incident. He says he was aching, but mostly he was upset by what happened."

She added :"It was unprovoked and in drink as well. He had visible injuries to his head."

Mr Mark Williams, for Hannah, said he was half-way through the suspended sentence and had been doing well. It was imposed for a " wholly different" matter. The solicitor said of the assault: "He does not accept it was wholly unprovoked."