A 21-year-old man has been found guilty of bashing his neighbour ”like a thrashing machine” after a rowdy birthday party in Bonython.

Michael Robert McKay, of Bonython, had been accused of assaulting his neighbour in October 2009, leaving the man bloodied. Other neighbours watching from their homes feared the man would be killed. The victim told the court that there had been very loud music coming from McKay’s house starting from 3pm on the day of the party and there had been a burnout performed in the street.

He called police to complain about the noise and the burnout and then had an altercation with McKay in the street. The man said McKay pushed him onto the bonnet of a car and punched him repeatedly in the face and chest ”like a thrashing machine” while other party-goers cheered and egged him on.

When he got to his feet after the beating, the man described feeling like a hunted fox as the group chased him over the road to another neighbour’s home. McKay’s then-partner, who had been celebrating her birthday at the party, told the court that the victim had shoved her in the stomach.

She said the victim, who was usually pleasant, swore at the group and appeared angry to the point that she believed he had been drinking. The woman told the court McKay had tried to apologise for the noise and she had said ”it’s not that bad”. She said the neighbour then pushed her in the stomach forcefully.

But the victim denied touching McKay’s former partner in any way, though he agreed he had knocked her drink out of her hand during the altercation. The woman said she knelt to pick up her drink and when she looked back McKay was punching the man and telling him ”not to hit my missus”.

A neighbour who saw the attack told the court the man was punched repeatedly in the face, chest and stomach while McKay yelled abuse at him. She said she feared the man was going to be killed so she called out to her husband to hurry up and call the police. The victim fled to her house. When her husband opened the door for him she saw he was bloodied and his shirt was ripped.