A THUG who flouted a non-molestation order and gave his ex-partner a black eye, has been locked up for 15 months.

James French, 25, had smashed his way into the Burnley home of victim Jennifer Marsden by breaking a window, days after the attack.

He claimed to the police she had had a black eye when he saw her that day.

French, who has also been the subject of a restraining order banning contact with the victim, has more than 80 offences on his record and has been violent towards Ms Marsden.

She took out the non-molestation order while he was behind bars.

The court heard French had 82 previous offences on his record, 17 against people.

The defendant, of Claremont Road, Accrington, had admitted breaching the order, assault and damage and had been committed for sentence by Pennine magistrates.

Sarah Johnson, prosecuting, said Ms Marsden was caused immediate pain when she was assaulted on May 15, ran away and was away from her home address from that point.

Police were contacted by one of her neighbours, who had seen the defendant break a window and climb into her house.

An officer went to the back of the property and saw a window had been smashed and covered up with a towel.

The officer went to the front, knocked on the door, the defendant answered and tried to shut the officer out. He had a cut on his head and leg from climbing through the window.

Miss Johnson said the defendant was taken into custody and denied the assault.

He claimed he and the victim had resumed their relationship and had been staying together at weekends at his dad's house in Accrington.

His father said French had been living at the address, but the victim had not. Ms Marsden returned to her home on May 21, to discover the damage. She noticed items had been moved.

Miss Johnson told the hearing the defendant had previous offences of violence against the victim and had received custody.