Man and his dog beaten for binning poo bag in Ashton-under-Lyne

(Clockwise from top left) Paul Hands, Darren Barnfather, Darren Bagnell and John McCarthy Image copyright Greater Manchester Police
Image caption The four men carried out a "vicious and brutal attack"

Four men who beat a dog owner with a golf club and pool cue because he put a bag of dog poo in their bin have been jailed.

The victim suffered a fractured skull and bleeding to the brain in the attack in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, on 7 July. His dog was swung by its lead and beaten with wood.

Paul Hands, 38, who planned the attack, was jailed for 13 years for assault.

Three others were jailed for up to 11 years.

At Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court, Darren Barnfather, 51, of Holebottom, was sentenced to 11 years for assault. John McCarthy, 52, was jailed for two-and-a-half years. Darren Bagnell, 51, of Hilton Cresent, Ashton-under-Lyne, also got two-and-a-half years.

'Became angry'

Police said the victim was walking his dog in Holebottom when he disposed a bag of his dog's waste in a bin outside a property Hands was staying in.

Hands became angry, shouting abuse and threatening the victim. The next day the four men spotted him, surrounded him and attacked him, striking him on the head.

Police said McCarthy was seen swinging the dog by its lead at shoulder height before Barnfather smashed a piece of wood over its back. The dog survived the attack.

Det Con Simon Cropper, of Greater Manchester Police, said the "vicious" attack was over "such a trivial matter".

"Paul Hands planned and carried out a brutal attack... with the help of his friends... leaving [the victim] with life-changing injuries and attacked his defenceless dog."

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