A 'drunk' reveller dressed in an elf costume was punched in the face outside a pub after shouting abuse at a man, a court heard.
Michael Way was outside Grants Bar on Manchester Road in Accrington the Friday before Christmas last year dressed in an elf costume when the incident happened.
Burnley Crown Court heard how Mr Way shouted the word ‘f****t’ three times to David Pilling who then punched him twice to the face after ‘losing his temper’.
Pilling, 49, of Harcourt Road, Accrington, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was given a two year conditional discharge.
Guy Mathieson, prosecuting, said Mr Way and three other friends were all dressed as elves and had been out ‘drinking for some hours’ when the attack happened on December 20. Mr Mathieson said Mr Way has a ‘limited recollection of what went on other than being assaulted’.
A basis of plea from Mr Pilling told how he had been out with his girlfriend at Grants Bar when they ‘decided they wanted to leave’ and so went outside to get a taxi.
In his statement Mr Pilling said he was followed outside by two men dressed as elves and ‘they were obviously very drunk’ but he ‘hadn’t had any difficulties with them’.
The court heard how Mr Way shouted ‘f****t’ and when Pilling said ‘I hope you’re not talking to me?’ Mr Way replied ‘yes, you ******* f****t’.
Mr Mathieson said Pilling approached him and patted him on the shoulder and told him to ‘shut his mouth’ but Mr Way repeated the abuse towards him.
The court heard how Pilling then ‘lost his temper’ as he was ‘very angry at his behaviour’ and punched Mr Way in the face causing him to fall to the ground.
Mr Mathieson said when Mr Way stood up and approached Pilling, Pilling then punched him again causing him to fall to the floor. Mr Way suffered a cut lip which required 10 stitches and some bruises, the court heard.
Simon Gurney, defending, said: “It was not in any way a serious injury. There was no premeditation and there was provocation’.
Sentencing, Judge Andrew Woolman said: “You shouldn’t have lost your temper but I understand why you did. You were being abused repeatedly by the victim who was obviously very drunk. Obviously you acted unlawfully.”