A VICIOUS thug who stubbed a cigarette out on a woman's face was a "ticking time bomb" due to his background, a judge has been told.

Marvin Gordon, who had befriended the woman after she split with her partner, became so controlling that he would demand money and cigarettes from her.

John Kennerley, prosecuting, told Bolton Crown Court how 34-year-old Gordon had known his victim from their school days and he was mates with her ex-partner.

"When the relationship broke up between the complainant and her ex-partner she says the defendant, in fact, was rather helpful towards her and supportive," said Mr Kennerley.

"However, that situation changed over several months prior to the assault in April this year. The defendant's attitude changed and became controlling, taking advantage of her situation."

The Honorary Recorder of Bolton, Judge Martin Walsh was told that it is unclear whether the pair were in a relationship but Gordon, of Hengist Street, Bolton, kept belongings at her home.

Mr Kennerley said that on several occasions the woman had to call police when Gordon became aggressive.

And at 9am on April 26 Gordon turned up on her doorstep.

"He said that he didn't have any cigarettes and took the cigarette from the complainant's mouth as she was smoking and then put the cigarette out on the left side of her face," said Mr Kennerley.

Gordon then left but returned a short time later and forced his way into the house, demanding money and cigarettes.

But when his victim threatened to call police and started to text his mother, he grabbed the mobile from her hand and smashed it on the floor.

Gordon then picked up a broom and struck her legs twice with it, causing bruising.

The woman began screaming and went to sit on her front doorstep.

"She believed he wouldn't continue the assault if she was in view of the public," said Mr Kennerley.

Neighbours called the police and Gordon was arrested in nearby woods.

Gordon, who has a record for violence, pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm and criminal damage after initially denying he committed the offences.

Stuart Duke, defending said Gordon's use of drugs and background had led to his behaviour.

"Mr Gordon accepts he is not good in relationships," said Mr Duke.

"He had a traumatic childhood, witnessed violence and his use of amphetamines and other drugs makes him a ticking time bomb when in a relationship with anybody."

Judge Walsh made a restraining order banning Gordon from contacting his victim and sentenced him to 18 months in prison.

"Only and immediate sentence of imprisonment can be justified," he told him.