A MAN who assaulted his partner and fractured her finger acted out of jealousy, a court heard.

Bolton Crown Court heard how Lance Hall would look at text messages sent to her on the mobile phone they shared, fly into a rage and become violent.

Judge Richard Gioserano was told how, on June 16 and 30 last year 32-year-old Hall assaulted his partner and, during one of the incidents, threatened her with a butter knife.

Alison Mather, prosecuting, said that on June 18 the woman also went to hospital, accompanied by Hall, and complaining of a painful and swollen wrist from hitting a wall.

However, she subsequently told police that around three weeks earlier Hall had forced her hand into her wrist and she had heard a crack.

X-rays revealed a fractured little finger.

The injured woman obtained a non-molestation order preventing Hall from contacting her but the court heard that the relationship continued and he was charged with two offences of breaching the order.

Hall denied causing grievous bodily harm, two counts of assault and two of breaching non-molestation orders but failed to turn up for his trial at Bolton Magistrates' Court on May 23 and was convicted in his absence.

He was arrested and held in prison until his sentence at Bolton Crown Court.

Nicholas Ross, defending, told the court that Hall, a father-of six, was "profoundly sorry", accepts that his conduct was "shameful and inexcusable" and that he needs to change his behaviour.

Judge Gioserano sentenced Hall, of Lonsdale Road, Farnworth, to 18 months in prison, suspended for two years. Hall was also ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work, participate in a building better relationships programme and 12 days of rehabilitation activities.

The judge told Hall: "I can't prevent you, in future, from engaging in personal relationships with women but what I can do, if possible, is to try and take a course with you that will at least protect them from having to endure the sort of treatment you meted out to your former partner. You treated her appallingly at times.You clearly have some issues and seriously distorted thinking."

A restraining order was made banning him from contacting his ex-partner for 12 months.