A MAN battered his long-time friend at a party filled with heavy drinking and drugs.

Oliver Clinch, 24, was sentenced for assault after kicking and hitting his friend at a party completely unprovoked, according to the prosecution.

Clinch, of Redcar Row in Little Lever, ran into friend and victim Paul Cauldwell in Bolton town centre on November 14 last year.

After bumping into each other, the pair embarked on an afternoon of heavy drinking.

The friends then went back to the victim’s home for more booze before going on to a house party.

The pair were at the house party filled with people drinking and taking drugs in Gaskell Street when the night turned nasty, heard Bolton Crown Court.

All of a sudden, Clinch threw a punch at Mr Cauldwell, hitting him in the right side of his jaw and knocking him to the floor.

The victim was "curled up in a ball on the floor" and could "feel the blood dripping down his face" while Clinch continued to attack him with punches and kicks, according to the prosecution.

In a victim statement, Mr Cauldwell said he was left "hurting all over" with lacerations to his face, bruising and a fractured nose.

He said: “I was in a lot of pain following this incident.

"There was no explanation for the attack.

"I offered him somewhere to stay and that’s how I was repaid.

"I had to take time off work I was in so much pain. At one point I thought I may lose my job.”

Despite the bloody consequences, defence barrister Simon Gurney described the incident as "two young men who were friends drinking and engaging in play fighting that got out of hand".

Among his 13 criminal convictions for 60 offences, Clink is a serial drink-related offender and had been brought before courts for drunk and disorderly behaviour before.

Clinch had also been reprimanded for common assault, criminal damage and disorderly behaviour, largely as a juvenile.

At the age of just 12, he was issued with an ASBO after using up local police time.

Judge Martin Walsh said: "He has got a very poor record for drink-related disorder."

Mr Gurney argued that his criminal conduct had lessened in recent years, saying: "He offended at a very young age and has put that offending firmly behind him.

"There has been a good break since his last offence."

Addressing Clinch, the judge said: "At 24 years of age, you have an unenviable record for drink, though it has abated over the last few years.

"You plead guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

"The unpleasant injuries could have been more severe.

"But you have demonstrated increasing maturity over the last few years."

Clinch was sentenced to 15 months in prison, suspended for two years.

He will also have to carry out 25 days of community service, along with obeying a curfew of 8pm to 6pm for four months.