A MAN turned up in drink and in an argumentative mood at his ex-partner’s home in the early hours of the morning, a court heard.

Kieron James Hutton entered the premises after a brief altercation and went on to carry out a sustained assault on the woman, before leaving, having also smashed several items of property.

Durham Crown Court was told his ex-partner asked him to leave, upon his arrival at her Spennymoor home at 2.30am on Saturday December 5.

Following the minor doorstep dispute he refused to go away and grabbed her by the hair, pulling her to the floor, before kicking and punching her to the head and face up to ten times.

Nigel Soppitt, prosecuting, said Hutton then began to damage property, but his former partner felt powerless to prevent him as she cowered on the settee.

Hutton grabbed her foot and bit her toe, breaking the skin, then dragged her by her hair across the floor and kicked her in the head once more.

Mr Soppitt said Hutton eventually left, smashing a window as a parting shot.

During the attack he was said to have a dog chain wrapped round his fist, increasing the severity of injuries inflicted.

His victim suffered injuries to her face, nose and mouth, which was left swollen, bruising and abrasions to her back, tenderness to her head, as well as the bite cut to her toe.

Mr Soppitt said she estimated the ordeal lasted 20 minutes, with damage caused to several household furnishings, including the tv set and doors, adding that Hutton appeared worse the wear for drink at the time.

When arrested he claimed he acted in self-defence at the time, claiming her had been allowed in by his ex-partner.

But, appearing at a plea hearing at the court, he admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and criminal damage.

The 27-year-old defendant, of Cromarty, in Ouston, was said to have a number of offences for violence on his record, in recent years.

Tony Davis, in mitigation, said: “Hving had time to reflect on his behaviour, the defendant has no desire to rekindle this relationship.

“He said he would never have lost his temper if not for the goading he received from the complainant, but he accepts he went over the top.”

But Mr Davis said Hutton plans to move in with relatives 40 miles away to work as a farm labourer.

Imposing an 18-month prison sentence, Judge James Adkin said he would recommend that a feature of Hutton’s licence conditions on release would be a prohibition from contacting his former partner.

As no restraining order was requested by the Crown, that condition would rest with Home Secretary, Priti Patel.