A DRUNKEN attacker who left his victim with a smashed cheek in Boxing Day violence, walked free from court – and the reason was partly down to a policeman who turned up to arrest him.

Burnley Crown Court heard Shane Chew, 26, had attacked Karl Antal in the toilets at the Conservative Club in Barnoldswick and then hit him repeatedly in the face after he fell.

One of the officers who went to detain Chew was PC Matthew Lunney, who had known the defendant for six years, since he was a local beat officer.

The officer, who was knocked down and injured as the defendant tried to get away, told in a statement how Chew was a ‘good lad’ when sober, but when he was drunk he could be violent.

The officer said he had tried to get him help in the past.

Mr Antal suffered a fractured cheekbone, bruises to his eyes and an eyebrow laceration and had to have stitches.

Chew, who has a record for violence, had been given a suspended jail term for three charges of battery three -and-half years ago, but had kept out of trouble since.

The defendant, of Cam Lane, Thornton-in-Craven, had admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm, damage and resisting police.

He received nine months in jail, suspended for 18 months, with 18 months supervision.

Chew was also banned from on-licence premises for 18 months and must pay £1,200 compensation.