A PROFESSIONAL boxer and women's boxing coach has appeared in court after assaulting his sister during a drunken row and leaving her with two black eyes and a bloodied nose.

Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court heard that 39-year-old Mark Dawes had been at his sister's house on the evening of May 2 when an argument broke out between the two of them.

Kirsty Divine, prosecuting, said: "His sister had invited him and his girlfriend over for a drink, an argument took place between them which led to an assault and an ambulance ended up being called.

"There was also damage to the injured party's [his sister's] mobile phone after the defendant tried to stop her from contacting the police. She has since retracted her statement.

"The defendant states that he struck her in a palm up manner and denies punching her to the face."

The court heard that the victim was left with two black eyes, a bloodied nose, a swollen forehead, bruising and swelling to her face and bruising to her leg.

Dawes pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, assault by beating and criminal damage.

Georgia Wilkinson, mitigating, said the defendant had exceptional mitigating circumstances. She said: "The defendant has not been before the court for 11 years.

"His father has recently been diagnosed with dementia, he has a son who was born prematurely in February and a daughter who was recently diagnosed with cancer.

"He is self-employed as a courier and also works at a local boxing gym as a coach, coaching women's boxing classes four times a week."

District Judge, Helen Cousins, told Dawes: "This is a very serious matter, the fact that you're a boxer means that even during a minor assault you can cause significant injuries."

Dawes, of Springfield Road, Fishburn, was given an electronically monitored curfew from 8pm to 6am for 12 weeks.

He must also carry out 120 hours unpaid work and pay £85 costs and £90 victim surcharge.