Four thugs swung a dog in the air by its lead and left its owner with a fractured skull and a bleed on the brain when a man put a bag of dog poo in one of their bins.

The 46-year-old and his crossbreed dog were set upon by the gang in Holebottom in Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside, in July 2016.

The thugs were armed with a golf club, a pool cue and electrical wire when they attacked the victim after he threw the dog's mess in a bin outside an address where Paul Hands was staying.

Hands, 38, Darren Barnfather, 51, John McCarthy, 52, and Darren Bagnall, 51, have now all been jailed for the attack which left the victim with a fractured skull, a bleed on his brain and a fractured collar bone.

Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard that Hands abused and threatened the man before he was spotted again walking his dog and attacked.

The men grabbed weapons and surrounded the man on a footpath and attacked him, with McCarthy seen swinging the dog round by its lead at shoulder height. The court heard that Barnfather struck the dog with a piece of wood over its back before the man was left lying in the street.

The victim managed to make it home before he collapsed before he was rushed to Salford Royal Hospital, reported the Manchester Evening News. The man had to undergo emergency surgery and the dog survived the attack.

Hands was jailed for 13 years for section 18 assault while Barnfather was jailed for 11 years for section 18 assaults. McCarthy and Bagnall were both jailed for two and a half years for a section 20 assault.

Detective Constable Simon Cropper said: "This was a vicious and brutal attack over such a trivial matter.

"Paul Hands was verbally abusive towards his victim when the incident first happened then planned and carried out a brutal attack on the victim with the help of his friends.

"They left their victim with life-changing injuries and attacked his defenceless dog. They are fully deserving of their sentences."