THE drunken father-of-two who attacked pensioners Jack and Jean Corless outside their Rising Bridge home has been jailed for 12 months.
Burnley Crown Court heard how Lee Peel, 29, abused Jean Corless after she believed he was beating up a young boy and tried to remonstrate with him.
He then kicked the couple's dog several times - despite working at a pets' crematorium at the time, leaving it yelping.
When Jack Corless intervened he was punched in the face and knocked to the ground before Peel repeatedly "put the boot in".
The court heard Peel's behaviour had caused shock and revulsion in Baxenden and Rising Bridge where the victims had lived more than 20 years and were a popular and well-known couple.
Their friends and neighbours had stood by them, making statements to the police, and Peel had been shunned in local shops and the post office - which a judge said was not surprising.
Passing sentence, Recorder Anthony Cross, QC, told the defendant, who had been on a community order at the time, that Mr and Mrs Corless were ordinary people who had made a contribution in their community.
All Mrs Corless had been doing was looking out for a young neighbour, which any self- respecting human being would have done.
Peel, of Parkinson Street, Haslingden, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm and assault by beating. He had previous convictions for assault and threatening behaviour.
Martin Hackett, defending, told the court the offences clearly crosssed the custody threshold. Peel had caused injury to a relatively elderly man for no real reason and the message had to go out that it warranted prison.
But Peel had not troubled the court regularly, and although he had a history of violence he had never lost his liberty before.
Mr Hackett said the defendant had tried to provide for his wife of 11 years and their two daughters and had previously worked at the crematorium as a window cleaner.
The barrister said the incident was not planned and Peel did not accept he had been assaulting the youth. That was perhaps excessive horseplay.
Mr Hackett urged the court to give the defendant one last chance.