A "LAWLESS" neighbours' dispute in Brierly Hill resulted in a man being whacked in the head with a broom handle.

Cops were called twice to Waldron Road where the row, which Wolverhampton Crown Court heard was peppered with abuse and disorder, erupted into violence.

The attack left David Washington with two wounds that required hospital treatment and landed William O'Halloran in jail for four years.

Prosecutor Paul Spratt, who branded the unneighbourly arguement as "lawless", said O'Halloran had earlier been involved in a violent tussle with a member of the family and he was extremely angry over their behaviour.

Mr Spratt added a verbal argument became heated and 32-year-old O'Halloran armed himself with the broom handle and struck Mr Washington after spotting him leaving his home.

Mr Washington was bleeding profusely and he had to be taken to hospital where staples were inserted in a head wound while a second cut to his arm had to be stitched and the ugly incident had "left simmering discontent in the minds of all parties concerned".

Judge Michael Challinor told O'Halloran: "The harm you did was significant. You could could have caused much more serious injury to David Washington or even killed him by hitting him with a weapon to the head."

He said he accepted O'Halloran had struck out just once and there may have been some provocation but he added: "It was no excuse for this sort of violence."

The judge said he was satisfied O'Halloran, because of his record of violence in the past, posed the risk of further harm in the future to members of the public.

He extended his licence on release from custody by three years and warned him that if he came before a court again for an offence of violence he would go away for a "very long time indeed."

John Smythman, for O'Halloran, said his client was full of remorse for his actions and maintained he he had called police twice that day to report disorder and neighbours kicking at his front door.

He said O'Halloran had a drink problem and that was "fuel for the scenario" but he was now taking determined steps to put his life back on track.

O'Halloran's 32-year-old wife Ann, a mother of two, admitted affray in connection with the same incident at an earlier hearing and was placed on supervision for two years having spent four months in custody while being held on remand.