A 66-year-old man was punched to the ground by his 68-year-old neighbour after a long-running dispute about parking turned violent.

The victim suffered a fractured hip after being knocked to the ground by Anthony John – who then continued washing his car.

A judge at Swansea Crown Court descried the incident as a "wholly undignified neighbourly spat about trivia".

The court heard there had been a long-running dispute between two men living in Havard Jones Close in Penrhiwtyn, Neath, about parking on the quiet residential street.

Dyfed Thomas, prosecuting, said on July 1 last year John was washing his car outside his house when the victim walked past with his dog and "words were exchanged" between the neighbours.

A "confrontation" then ensued and the barrister said it was accepted the victim initially pushed John but the defendant then "lost his temper" and punched the other man a number of times, knocking him to the ground. John then returned to cleaning his car.

The court heard the victim was subsequently taken to Morriston Hospital where a fracture to the socket joint of the pelvis was diagnosed and he had to spent the next 16 days in hospital.

When police interviewed John he told officers he had been "provoked following an argument".

John, of Havard Jones Close, Penrhiwtyn, Neath, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm. The court heard he had no previous convictions.

David Singh, for John, said it had been the complainant who had initially approached the defendant in the street but it was accepted his client's reaction had been "inappropriate and unacceptable".

He said there had been no further incidents between the two men in the months since the day in question.

Judge Paul Thomas QC told John he accepted the victim had played a part in starting the confrontation but that the initial push was was "no excuse for the violence you used." The judge added: "It is a pity you have lost your clean character and good name."

Anthony John leaving court following his sentencing hearing
Anthony John leaving court following his sentencing hearing

Giving John a 25% discount for his guilty plea he sentenced him to nine months in prison suspended for 12 months and ordered him to complete a rehabilitation course and to pay his victim £2,500 compensation. John was also made the subject of a three-year restraining order banning him from contacting his victim.

John was told to pay the compensation at a rate of £200 per month and the judge told him the regular payments will be a reminder "that such behaviour will not be tolerated".