A JEALOUS dad-of-two who was given an indefinite restraining order after knocking his ex-wife unconscious on the dancefloor of a luxury hotel breached it by sneaking into her house and headbutting her.

Burnley Crown Court heard how 47-year-old Robert Merryweather was jailed for 10 months in 2017 after going into an envious rage about his victim, who had lost a significant amount of weight, dancing with other wedding guests at the Mitton Hall Hotel near Whalley.

Prosecuting Stephen Parker said that during the incident Merryweather kicked and punched his victim while she lay on the floor, leaving her with a 3cm cut to her head which was glued and a shoe print on her face.

As well as the jail term, Merryweather was given an indefinite restraining order preventing him from entering her street in Bacup.

However, at 8.30am on July 3 the victim was getting ready in the bathroom when she noticed Merryweather standing in the doorway.

She said: “What are you doing here?” The court heard Merryweather aggressively repeated the question back at her, before headbutting her.

Mr Parker said the victim’s nose began bleeding but there were no other injuries or bruising.

After Merryweather, who has 22 convictions for 52 offences, had left the victim noticed the couple’s daughter’s pet rat at the back door, which she said was a possible explanation for him attending.

She told police another explanation was that she had started a new relationship and was due to go on holiday with her new partner.

She also said she was now scared the defendant would come into her house again and headbutt her.

On the day he was due to stand trial, Merryweather, of Ribble Street, Bacup, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and breaching a restraining order.

Mr Parker said that was after the victim had submitted a retraction statement saying her original account to police was still true but since the incident she was aware that Merryweather’s health had deteriorated. She also feared she would no longer be able to work if Merryweather was sent to prison and she had to be the sole provider for their two children.

Defending, Keith Harrison said his client suffered health issues which the prison service would struggle to provide him with care for.

He said Merryweather has chronic pancreatitis – only having a third of his pancreas – a non-functioning spleen, tumours on his lung, heart problems, as well as having battled sepsis three times.

Mr Harrison said: “He found a photograph which was sent to him by the complainant on July 1 showing her new boyfriend and she in a state of some undress. They were sent to him two days before this incident. It doesn’t justify what he did. There has been some history of provocation.”

Judge Sara Dodd said it was a concern that Merryweather acted in a “spontaneous and violent way”. She sentenced him to nine months in custody but suspended it for 18 months. A new eight-year restraining order was imposed.