A RUSSELLS Hall man who brutally attacked his elderly neighbour in a row about dog fouling has been spared jail.

Darren Hayes left pensioner Ivan Stevens with a number of fractures to the bones around his eye and nose after pushing him to the ground and punching him in the face.

The attack had "significantly changed the life" of 65-year-old Mr Stevens who continued to suffer from pain and discomfort.

Mark Rees, prosecuting, told Wolverhampton Crown Court the pensioner also had his £250 glasses broken along with his £185 wristwatch and he lost wages because of the time he was forced to take off work.

Recorder Tina Landale said Mrs Stevens had been out walking the family dog when she got into an argument with Hayes, aged 47, about the pet fouling the area.

Then, when her husband went to speak to him about the matter, he was attacked but "luckily" for him there was a "good samaritan" nearby who was able to offer assistance before he was taken to hospital.

The Recorder told Haynes: "I have read the victim impact statement and what you did has had a significant effect on his life. This was a vulnerable man who was significantly older than you and he suffered serious injuries while he was on the ground."

Hayes, of Grenville Road, admitted wounding and was given an 18 month jail term suspended for 18 months and also placed on supervision for 18 months.

Simon Hanns for Hayes, who was further told to pay the pensioner £500 compensation, said his client believed the dog had fouled the pavement on a number of occasions.

The "problem festered" for some time and after a verbal confrontation with Mrs Stevens the "situation escalated" and he caused her husband "unpleasant" injuries.

Mr Hanns told the court that Hayes whose previous convictions included battery and common assault had also suffered some injury in the incident in July last year but since then there had been no trouble between the two parties.

Mr Rees said Mrs Stevens had been left "shaken up" by her confrontation with Hayes and as a result her husband went outside to talk to him about the issue.

Hayes became aggressive, he added, and he pushed his neighbour to the ground and he was then struck at least twice in the face causing him to temporarily lose consciousness.