A WOMAN was left badly bruised after being pinned to the ground and repeatedly punched by her former partner, a court heard.

Prosecutor John Garside told Darlington Magistrates’ Court today (Thursday, February 6) that Christopher Gunnell’s partner told him not to take drugs before he went out for the day on November 24.

When the 34-year-old returned to her Darlington flat she suspected he was under the influence of drugs, but she took pity on him and let him sleep off the effects in her home.

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Mr Garside said that when Gunnell awoke he became argumentative and ended up repeatedly punching the woman whilst pinning her to the ground.

She was left with lumps on her head, bruising to her back, ribs and a swollen eye.

Mr Garside said: “When asked why he attacked her he responded by saying ‘so you don’t hate me any less’.”

When officers arrested Gunnell after responding to a 999 call made by the victim during the attack, they found that he was carrying ketamine.

He admitted assault by beating and possession of a Class C drug.

No mitigation was put forward as magistrates adjourned the case for a pre-sentence report and Gunnell, of Grange Road, is due back in court on February 27.

He was released on bail with the condition that he does not contact his ex-partner.