A MAN who assaulted drowned party-goer Steven Dyson on the day he went missing has been sentenced to do 240 hours unpaid work.

Mr Dyson disappeared after a New Year’s Eve party in St Andrew’s Close, Ramsbottom, and the 22-year-old’s body was found in the River Irwell at Summerseat six days later following a extensive search.

An inquest established that Mr Dyson had died from drowning but is was not known how he ended up in the water.

During their investigations police established that, at the party, Mr Dyson had been punched by another man.

Daniel Conway, aged 22, of Fir Street, Ramsbottom, was charged with causing actual bodily harm.

He denied the offence, but at Manchester Magistrates’ Court he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of common assault.

Magistrates sentenced him to a community order for 12 months.

As part of the order he must undertake 240 hours of unpaid work and participate in 15 days of rehabilitation activities.

Conway was also told he must pay £150 in costs plus an £85 victim surcharge.

Mr Dyson, who worked at House of Fraser in Manchester, was reported missing by his mother, Lorraine Roach, on New Year’s Day after he did not arrive back at his Beechwood Avenue, Ramsbottom, home.

He had last been seen running away from the party at 9am.

An inquest into his death heard that as a taxi arrived to pick him up, he got into an altercation with another man where he was punched. He sustained facial injuries and was seen to be bleeding from the nose.

He was seen running away from the house looking ‘extremely scared’ before falling to the floor. He then stood up and ran up St Andrew’s Close towards Nuttall Lane.

The route by the river, believed to have been take by Steven was described as "very precarious".

In the days that followed, members of the public formed organised search parties in a bid to assist police, before a body was eventually found in the river the following Saturday.

At his inquest, Coroner Joanne Kearsley recorded an open conclusion, adding that it was not possible to rule out that Steven may have been suffering from mild concussion as a result of being punched prior to his death, and that it may have influenced his thought process and actions.

"It is unlikely that if it was not for that altercation, he would have taken that route home," said Ms Kearsley.