A MAN who punched and kicked his girlfriend as she lay on the floor and also threw a beer can at her head has been jailed for 14 months.

Lee Cowen, of Whitby Way, Darlington, had argued with the victim who suffered a cut eye.

Teesside Crown Court heard it described as a “sustained and repeated”

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attack, while a witness, a friend of the complainant, said she

feared the woman would be killed.

Both 43-year-old Cowen, who admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and the victim, his partner, were said to be dependent on alcohol.

At one point during the incident in the street in Darlington, on July 20, the woman grabbed Cowen’s legs causing him to lose his balance.

However, he picked himself up and carried on in a “rage”, pulling the woman to the ground and again punching and kicking her.

The victim said in a statement she wanted Cowen to be punished, but at the same time wanted their relationship to continue.

Cowen was said to deeply regret his actions. He accepted he and his partner both had drink problems.

The Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton said the courts would not tolerate such assaults.

He told Cowen: “When you drink there will be an argument and when there is an argument that can lead to violence.”