A FORMER army employee who subjected his ex-girlfriend to an eight-hour Boxing Day drunken attack has been spared jail.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Liam Andrew Fishwick hit, bit and kicked the woman and threw a wine bottle at her during the ‘prolonged’ and ‘nasty’ attack.

Judge Jonathan Gibson opted against jailing Fishwick, who the court heard had assaulted another former partner, and said it would minimise the 26-year-old’s risk to the public if he attended a ‘building better relationships’ course and an alcohol treatment programme.

Prosecuting, Stephen Parker said Fishwick and the victim had been in a relationship for a number of months but she decided to break it off shortly before Christmas.

Mr Parker said the victim had gone to Fishwick’s house at around 7.30pm on Christmas day to collect items belonging to her and her children and keys to her new property. But she decided to stay when she discovered that Fishwick was hosting a party.

Fishwick was initially nice to the woman but his mood changed once the other guests had left.

Mr Parker said: “He became verbally abusive. He took her mobile phone off her. He began pacing up and down the living room shouting at her for ending the relationship."

The court heard how Fishwick, of Walmsley Close, Church, then picked up a wine bottle and threw it at the victim’s leg. When it didn’t break he picked it up and threw it at her again. Although this time it missed her and smashed against the wall.

Mr Parker said police did go to Fishwick’s house following a call from a neighbour but they left after nobody responded to their knocking on the door.

At around 5am Fishwick began to kick and stamp on the victim.

She responded by saying: “Please stop. I just want to leave.”

Mr Parker said Fishwick punched the woman several times and then bit her on the side of the face, saying: “You’re not going to leave this flat. I am going to tie you up and do whatever I want to you.”

Fishwick then placed his hands around the victim’s neck and began to strangle her, before hitting her.

When she began to scream and plead with him to let her leave, Fishwick put her hand over her mouth.

The woman managed to retrieve her phone from the defendant at 9.45am and call her mother for help.

The court heard how the victim received bruising to her face, as well as injuries to her neck, thighs, hands and chest.

During his police interview Fishwick said the woman arrived at his house after messaging him and there had been an argument between them. He admitted assaulting her with a ‘soft punch’ after she had grabbed him. He also admitted biting her to the forehead but said it was with little force as his upper teeth were false.

Fishwick, who has two previous convictions for batter against two men from when he was in the army, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Defending, Peter Warne said his client couldn’t get away from the fact this was a ‘nasty attack’ and he accepted he needed help addressing his issues.

Mr Warne said: “He knows he has long-standing anger management problems. He knows he loses control. Perhaps moving away from an immediate custodial sentence might be for the greater good.”

Judge Gibson sentenced Fishwick to 13 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, and ordered him to attend the building better relationships programme for 40 days. he must also complete a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement, pay £500 compensation to his victim and a £250 contribution towards prosecution costs.

Judge Gibson said: “It does seem to me that if you attend that programme, engage and do well with it there is a good likelihood of protecting people in the future and of you not behaving this way towards anyone else. That doesn’t mean to say you don’t deserve to be because you do.”