A man who assaulted his girlfriend following a night out has narrowly avoided jail.

Joshua Rivers, 33, grabbed his then girlfriend by the ponytail and swung her round, hitting her head on the door frame of the house they shared in Rishton, after they had been dropped off in a taxi following a night out.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Rivers has assaulted his ex-partner on three separate occasions in 2019, once on September 21, and again on September 29, culminating in the assault on the night of October 4.

Prosecuting, Stephen Parker told the court: "The pair met in May 2019, and Rivers then went to prison for a while, during which time he contacted her and she met him upon his release.

"Their relationship then moved rather swiftly and he went to live with her in her home in Rishton.

"In relation to the offences, two of them took place in the bedroom during arguments, one in which Rivers grabbed his victim by the face and punched her in the throat.

"In October they had been for a night out and came back in a taxi, they then began arguing as they made their way to the front door and he grabbed her by the pony tail and swung her round and she hit her head on the door frame."

Rivers, formerly of Mowbray Avenue in Blackburn has 12 convictions for 19 offences, many of which were violent, including two battery offences and a wounding.

Judge Sara Dodd said: "Your behaviour is entirely unacceptable and it's remarkable to see such a collection of positive references for you.

"You have already self referred and started to put in place some of the work to be done and given you pleaded guilty at trial it seems to me that the best thing for you and for the community would be to impose a community order on you."

Rivers was handed a two year community order and must complete 15 rehabilitation days as well as attending a building better relationships programme.

A restraining order of two years was also made in respect of Rivers' ex-partner.