AN "amazing father and partner" who launched a relentless attack on his ex has been locked up – despite a plea for leniency from his victim.

The woman asked Judge Stephen Ashurst not to jail Dean Smith because of the impact it would have on their two children.

Smith has been on remand since his arrest, and his son and daughter – aged two and 13 – have endured their first Christmas without him.

The teenage girl relies on Smith to take her to frequent medical appointments for a condition which causes sight and hearing problems and breathing difficulties. She also suffers from anxiety and panic attacks.

Judge Ashurst told the sobbing 31-year-old that his "disgraceful explosion of violence", an assault on an arresting police officer and repeatedly flouting a restraining order to keep him away from his former partner meant he had to be jailed.

He received a 12-month prison sentence, but will serve just a further three months because of the time he has spent behind bars on remand.

The judge said he had reduced "very considerably" the punishment he had in mind because of the effect continued custody would have on Smith's daughter.

Victoria Lamballe, mitigating, told the court that the father-of-two had a fragile mental state because of the break-up last year, and had been drinking a lot.

"He is extremely remorseful for what took place," she added. "He appeared devastated when discussing the incident with a probation officer. This was an appalling attack on the mother of this man's two children, committed while they were present.

"The letters from his former wife and daughter make it plain that this is a capable, decent loving father when he is not drinking to excess."

Smith, of Holnest Avenue, Middlesbrough, admitted two charges of breaching a restraining order, two of damaging property, common assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The court heard that the restraining order was imposed last June after an earlier incident of domestic violence.

In September, Smith visited the family home – flouting the order – damaged his ex-partner’s mobile phone and squeezed her throat, pulled her to the floor by her hair, repeatedly stamped and kicked her back and head and threatened to bite her face.

After leaving and returning, he headbutted the kitchen walls and left three huge holes in them, then headbutted a police officer as he was being arrested.

A letter from Smith's ex – who suffered pain around her eyes and cheek, a lump on her forehead and bruising – said he is adored by their children and has been an amazing father and partner.

She asked the judge to give Smith another chance.