A MAN has told how he was attacked at work after having a petty row on Facebook.

Spencer Shaul, 26, of Sutton Road, Southend, was taken by surprise when a man who he had fallen out with on social media charged into his place of work.

Now the attacker, Dean Birkumshaw, 35, of Neil Armstrong Way, Leigh, has been convicted of assault and made subject of a restraining order.

Spencer, who works at Grips Bikes in Rayleigh, said: “I have known Dean for a long time and we had a heated exchange on Facebook, but I didn’t really think anything of it.

“The following day, I was at work and he came in through a fire exit at the back of the workshop. He came up behind me and punched me in the back of the head causing me to fall hard on a vice on the bench. I then fell to the floor and he carried on punching me.

“Later he rang my boss and told him that I was dead and he knew where I lived.

“Afterwards, I was sore for weeks and struggled to sleep because of the pain.

“I find myself always checking the fire exit now because it came so out of the blue.

“I can’t believe it came from something so small.”

Birkumshaw was found guilty after a trial at Southend Magistrates Court.

He was handed to a 12-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months.

Magistrates stated that the reason behind their sentence was because it was a pre-planned and sustained attack.

They said the incident involved more than one punch and threats were made after the incident.

They also noted Birkumshaw’s lack of remorse.

He must also carry out 150 hours of unpaid work within the next 12 months and was ordered to pay compensation of £400 as well as £635 in additional costs.

The court issued a 12-month restraining order making it an offence for Birkumshaw to contact Spencer or visit his place of work.