A man who ordered his girlfriend to strip and sit in a corner, battered her and threatened to kill her cat has been jailed.

Jesse Rivers, 24, received a four-year sentence after pleading guilty to seven offences including assault, controlling or coercive behaviour and false imprisonment, which took place over three to four weeks in September 2019.

Prosecutor David Traynor told Preston Crown Court: “He started a casual relationship with the woman in July and in September it turned violent.

“In one incident he told her to strip naked and stand in the middle of the room before accusing her of sleeping with his brother.

“He punched and kicked her. He started to cry before threatening to stab her cat and set her house on fire if she told anyone.”

The court heard other incidents included Rivers forcing entry into the victim’s home when she wasn’t there and threatening to kill her cat if she didn’t return home, before grabbing her by the hair and dragging her into the house.

Another incident took place after the victim told him she wanted to end the relationship.

He grabbed her by the neck, squeezing it until she couldn’t breathe and took her phone to prevent her calling for help, before punching her in the face.

Another time Rivers, of Petre Crescent, Rishton, called her after she had been away with friends and told her to go to his brother’s house so they could end the relationship properly. Mr Traynor said: “On this occasion he started punching her, yelling ‘do you think I am going to let you leave this house you stupid woman, going to the Lakes for four days? Get undressed and do as I tell you. You will do as you are told and sit in the corner.’

“He then started beating her for around 30 minutes and extinguished a cigarette on her breast.

“The victim thought he was going to kill her.

“The following day she woke in agony and couldn’t open her eye.

“They went for a drive but returned to his brother’s house and he locked the door and wouldn’t let her leave.”

The court heard the violence continued on several more occasions until the police were finally alerted to the behaviour by chemist staff, after Rivers followed his victim into the store and started hurling abuse at her.

Defending, Andrew Nuttall said: “He has a sad background, and in his own words the defendant says he was dragged up and was never shown any love or affection.

“All the details are a blur to him and he struggled to take into account the enormity of what he did.

“He recognises he couldn’t cope with envy, jealousy and all the traits we see in a relationship that’s not working."

In sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt said: “The flashes of violence in which you assaulted this woman, and the controlling, threatening and coercive behaviour is the most serious matter."