A COUPLE’S reconciliation bid did not last long after a man turned violent having looked through messages on his now ex-partner’s phone, a court heard.

Mark Jason Vayro punched the woman twice to the face and was also alleged to have head butted her in the outburst.

But he claimed that the butt was unintentional due to his forward motion.

Durham Crown Court heard that the victim said she briefly lost consciousness and when she came around she could feel blood in her mouth.

Robin Turton, prosecuting, said she suffered bruising, swelling and tenderness to her head, face and abdomen, but fears her ribs were fractured in the assault proved unfounded.

Vayro was arrested two days after the incident, on October 11, and claimed he had not taken his ex-partner’s phone as it was in a bag near the front door.

The 40-year-old of Challinor Way, St Helen Auckland, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm, putting him in breach of a suspended sentence for a previous domestic assault.

Martin Towers, for Vayro, said he is “lightly convicted” but lost his building business having been in custody since October, his first taste of prison.

Imposing a six-month prison term, Judge Jonathan Carroll added nine weeks for the breach of the previous sentence and put in place a five-year restraining order prohibiting contact with his former partner.