A THUG who punched and bit his ex-girlfriend despite being banned from going anywhere near hee has been jailed for 15 months.

Benjamin Doherty attacked the woman when he was drunk after being goaded that another of her former partners was invited to a gathering they were attending at a mutual friend's home in Colchester.

The 25-year-old said he would stab the man if he turned up and got visibly more angry until he lashed out and punched the woman in the face.

She then left the party but was later pushed from behind and bitten on the back by Doherty before passersby intervened to stop him.

Six months before the incident in July, Doherty, of Linden Close, Colchester, had been given a suspended sentence order and restraining order against the victim after admitting to assaulting her.

For the latest incident, he admitted actual bodily harm and breaching the two orders.

Gavin Capper, mitigating at Ipswich Crown Court, described the pair's four-year on-off relationship as toxic but said the father-of-one had been persuaded to continue it after the restraining order was imposed.

He said: "The complainant attended his address and said she was homeless.

"He still had feelings for her and the relationship continued.

"After the comments were made about her previous partner he became upset and acted in a way which was completely inappropriate and he accepts that.

"He hopes to put his life together but accepts there is no future with the complainant nor does he want one.

"If he could turn the clock back and act in a better manner then he would."

Mr Capper said Doherty, who has been remanded in custody for the last four months, would move to Wiltshire when he is released.

Judge Rupert Overbury jailed Doherty for 15 months.

He said: "Anyone who breaches a court order which has been imposed to prevent future acts of domestic violence and then goes and commits another offence of domestic violence cannot really expect any sympathy from the court irrespective of the troubled background you claim to have, irrespective you have a young child who no doubt misses her father, irrespective that you express your remorse.

"The court order was designed specifically to stop this type of offending happening."