A MAN who punched, kicked, bit, headbutted and threatened to kill his girlfriend in two separate attacks has been jailed.

Craig Leach hit Maria Calligan in the face at a party after they had fallen out over a missed benefits payment, Bolton Crown Court heard.

Leach, aged 32, left after the attack on January 15 but carried on the row when his partner of 15 years, with whom he had two children, returned to their Bolton home at 1.30am on January 16.

He repeatedly attacked her, with Miss Calligan curled into a ball to protect herself before she blacked out, the court heard.

Two days later on January 18, Miss Calligan was at home alone and went to bed at 8.30pm before Leach broke into the house at about midnight.

He launched into a second attack on Miss Calligan, threatening to kill her, before dragging her out of bed and kicking, headbutting and biting her.

She managed to escape into the street and ran to passers-by who called the police.

Leach, of Elgin Street, Halliwell, admitted two charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on July 15 after initially denying four separate charges.

Recorder Jeremy Lasker sentenced him to two years in prison, of which he will serve half on licence, and gave Leach a four-year restraining order.

Mark Friend, defending, said Leach felt sorrow, remorse and shame for his behaviour.

Recorder Lasker said: “This was is a culmination of what I am told is a relationship that has been violent throughout. These were deeply unpleasant and repeated offences.

“I am of the view that the offending is so serious that anything other than a custodial sentence would be inappropriate.”