A WOMAN was attacked by her ex-partner who tried to strangle her at a family gathering to mourn her dead brother.

Bolton Crown Court heard how Jimmy Tattersall was already subject to a restraining order banning him from contacting his former girlfriend.

But Justin Hayhoe, prosecuting, said that on December 17 the woman's brother died and she invited Tattersall to join a family gathering at her mother's house on November 22.

While there the woman and her mother were upstairs in the early hours of the morning and Tattersall decided to join them.

"All of a sudden his behaviour changed," said Mr Hayhoe.

Tattersall head butted the woman and then grabbed her neck and tried to strangle her.

"He strangled me so tight around the neck that I could not breathe," the woman later told police.

The woman's mother pushed him away but then he rifled though his ex-girlfriend's handbag and took her keys before leaving.

The incident so frightened the woman that she had a panic attack and an ambulance was called.

At noon the next day, when the woman returned to her own home, she found Tattersall already there. He had let himself in using her keys.

"He began arguing with her and refused to leave," said Mr Hayhoe.

"She was scared that he would hurt her again."

The woman left the house and went to sit in her car, telling Tattersall that she was calling the police.

He ran off but returned later, at 5pm, knocking on the front door while she was in bed.

When she again threatened to call the police he left again but returned later, this time picking up a brick and threatening to throw it before walking off.

Tattersall, of Netherfield Road, Great Lever, pleaded guilty to assault, criminal damage and breaching a restraining order.

The court heard how Tattersall has previous convictions for violence.

Richard Dawson, defending, told Judge Timothy Stead: "It is conceded that the conduct engaged in by this young man was thoroughly unpleasant and on any view, entirely necessary.

"By the nature of a wake, alcohol was consumed and it was in consequence of him drinking rather too much than was good for him, that events escalated.

"He expresses remorse for his behaviour and the inevitable distress that must have been caused to his victim."

Judge Stead sentenced Tattersall to 20 months in prison.

A further restraining order was made banning Tattersall from contacting his victim or her mother or going to their homes for 10 years.