A MAN punched his former partner repeatedly in the head after he challenged her for being spotted leaving a pub with another man.

Blackburn Magistrates heard Matthew Thornley attacked the woman in Blackburn, on February 4.

His now ex-partner had left her house the night before, but returned at around 7.30am.

Phillipa White, prosecuting, said she did not want to speak to Thornley, 35, and started walking up the stairs.

She said: "She did not realise he was walking behind her and he grabbed her leg and pulled her back down the stairs, she fell.

"She grabbed the bannister and was repeatedly punched in the head.

"She put her arms above her head to protect herself."

The court heard once the attack was over, Thornley got ready for work and left the house.

Miss White said the relationship had began to deteriorate and there had been "two or three" previous violent incidents from him towards her.

The court heard the victim said the relationship was now over.

Gareth Price, defending, said Thornley had been sent messages by friends his former partner had left the pub she had visited on February 3 with another man.

He said: "He challenged her about what she was doing, he tried to get into conversation and accepts grabbing hold of her."

Thornley, of Livesey Branch Road, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to assault and was given a 12-month community order and ordered to pay a £166 penalty and £170 compensation to the victim.

Thornley was also given a 12-month restraining order to not visit the victim's house.

The chairwoman of the magistrate, Teresa Mallabone, said: "It was a serious attack.

"There was no physical injury so it was less serious in that context but emotional abuse was caused.

"You have previous convictions for battery, but that was sometime ago."