A FAMILY Christmas day ended in violence in front of a five-month-old child.

Blackburn magistrates heard Andrew Phillip Roche punched his partner, knocking her to the floor.

The prosecution said the victim was holding the child but Daniel Frazer, defending, said his client was adamant he had hold of the child when he struck his partner.

Roche, 28, of Wood Street, Brierfield, pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm. He was made subject to a community order for 24 months with 20 days rehabilitation activity requirement and a condition he completes the Building Better Relationships programme. He was also made subject to a curfew for eight weeks between 7pm and 5am and ordered to pay £300 compensation, £85 costs and £95 victim surcharge. He was made subject to a restraining order which prohibits him having any contact with the victim for two years.

Adam Boney, prosecuting, said the incident happened on Christmas Day as they were walking home from visiting relatives. An argument started and by the time they got home he was shouting at her and she was shouting back.

"All of a sudden she felt a huge blow to her face which knocked her to the floor and she banged her head," said Mr Boney.

"She doesn't know how many times she was hit because she has little recollection after banging her head on the floor. The next thing she remembered was being at a friend's house and she had called the police."

Mr Frazer said they had a pleasant evening until the argument developed during the short walk home.

"He felt she was belittling him and he lost his temper," said Mr Frazer. "He was having difficulties with employment due to Covid and she suggested he wasn't providing for his family."

Mr Frazer said since the incident his client had got a job and now rented his own accommodation.

"He has taken steps to steady the ship," said Mr Frazer.