A pub regular who claimed to have been assaulted by a Birmingham city councillor told a court yesterday he decided not to confront his attacker because he thought he was an unkempt vagrant.
It was only after Jim Pendleton found out his assailant was Labour councillor Tony Kennedy that he decided to contact the police, it was claimed.
Birmingham County Court heard yesterday that Mr Pendleton received a serious head injury after he was pushed against a wall outside the Prince of Wales pub in Moseley following an argument with Mr Kennedy in May 2004.
Mr Pendleton said before the assault he was blocked by Mr Kennedy while attempting to leave the pub to make sure a taxi would be waiting for him and his partner Sue Wheatley.
Moments later, Ms Wheatley asked Mr Pendleton what had happened after she noticed his head was bleeding and he replied: "That little short b*****d has just pushed me against a wall," the court was told.
Mr Pendleton said Mr Kennedy's partner, Kate Booth, apologised to him, blaming the pressures of campaigning for a local election which was taking place ten days later.
He said it was only then that he knew it was the Aston councillor, and decided to press charges because he "didn't believe somebody in a public position should go around acting like a thug and assaulting people".
"I had never seen him before and I thought he was a vagrant," he said.
Mr Kennedy, who is no longer a councillor, claims he acted in self-defence after Mr Pendleton attacked him. He claimed he "telescoped" a punch from the 42 year-old by smothering it.
Mr Kennedy is suing Coun Martin Mullaney (Lib Dem Moseley & Kings Heath) for malicious falsehood over content relating to the alleged assault which was posted on a web-site chatroom and internet site he runs. The case continues.