Man attacked over £20 loan for beer

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A MAN who attacked his brother’s friend over a £20 debt has narrowly escaped jail.

Lee Butler’s older brother Michael had owed the man the cash – which was for a crate of beer – for 10 weeks.

After the victim went to 31-year-old Michael’s ex-girlfriend’s house to collect his money, the siblings decided to pay him a visit.

When they got to his home, Lee, 25, launched into a series of kicks and punches on the man.

While he was on the floor Michael Butler joined in, punching him at least four times.

They admitted a joint charge of common assault at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

Sentencing Lee Butler, of Renfrew Road, Red House, chairman of the bench Russell Hewitson said: “You took a leading role in this, and we considered a sentence of imprisonment”.

However, magistrates gave him a 12-month community order and 150 hours’ unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay the victim £125 in compensation and £200 court costs.

Michael Butler, of Newmarket Walk, South Shields, was also given a 12-month community order.

Mark Richardson, defending, said: “Michael Butler went to have a word with the man about the way he tried to get the money back.”

He added: “There was some aggro and his brother accepts he overreacted.”