TWO LIFELONG pals have been ordered not to talk to each other after they had a “scrap” on the front lawn.

Daniel Thyer and Gary Dean caused an early morning disturbance for neighbours at The Strand in Goring after a row spilled onto the street.

Neighbour Paul Wells saw Dean brandishing a knife as he taunted Thyer about his father who is “dying of cancer”.

Mr Wells tried to intervene when Thyer saw red and turned back towards Dean.

By the time he got there, the pair had bundled each other into a hedge in the road and were tussling on the ground.

They appeared in the dock together at Worthing Magistrates’ Court, where Thyer admitted assaulting Dean and possessing a knuckle duster.

Dean admitted abusive and threatening behaviour which was likely to cause fear, and possessing a knife.

They will be sentenced in February after magistrate Victoria Willetts decided that they did not need to be sent to the Crown Court.

Gaynor Byng, prosecuting, said the drama happened at 8am on December 29 last year.

She said: “Police received a number of phone calls about this.

“Neighbours identified Dean as the man carrying the knife while a knuckle duster was later found to belong to Thyer.

“Thyer had been around to see Mr Dean and at first they were getting on well, but Dean’s behaviour changed and the situation deteriorated.

“A neighbour said he was still in bed when he heard shouts and abuse.

“He looked outside and saw a commotion.

“Dean was waving a knife and shouting horrible abuse to Thyer.

“When the neighbour got downstairs, they were both on the floor having what has been described as a scrap.”

Jane Lloyd, defending Thyer, said: “The knuckle duster was in my client’s pocket for the whole time and there is nothing to suggest it was used.

“They have been friends for some 20 years. They fight and then suddenly things will change. Mr Thyer was further up the street, and only returned when he heard things said about his parents.

“His father is in hospital with cancer. The thing said about his father dying is what led him back.”

Mark Kessler, defending Dean, said the matter had not caused a “serious” disturbance or risk of disorder.

This was despite some neighbours hearing cries of “he’s got a knife”.

Mr Kessler said that when police arrived, the knife was found back inside his client’s home, which meant it had been put away and not used during the fight.

He added that if there had been a more serious risk of public disorder, police and the Crown Prosecution Service would have charged him with affray instead.

Dean, 32, of The Strand in Goring, and Thyer, 30, of Coneyhurst Road in Billingshurst, have been bailed until their sentencing hearing at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on February 11. They left the court separately and have been ordered not to see or contact each other.