A MAN who grabbed his partner by the throat and used her - in the words of a judge - as a “punchbag” has been spared jail and given a last chance to participate in a domestic violence programme.

Teesside Crown Court heard that Jussia Smith failed to attend two appointments last month as required by the probation service.

On one occasion he was said to be too drunk to attend.

Loading article content

Jobless Smith, 34, of The Mead, Darlington, was previously given a nine-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, along with an order that he undergo a course aimed at curbing his violent behaviour.

This was after he admitted two assault charges and two breaches of a restraining order in respect of the woman.

Sentencing him earlier this year, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton said: “What you did was, when drunk, go around and simply use her a punchbag, calling her every name under the sun, and kicking her.”

On Friday, Judge Tony Briggs, dealing with the breaches of the order, said he was minded to give him one last chance.

He said: “The whole point of the suspended sentence was that he could attend a relevant domestic violence course.”

Judge Briggs imposed no separate penalty for the failure to attend the course appointments and instead said the order would remain in force.

He said: “It is important that you remain on this course, if you don't you will be locked up.”