A THUG punched a pregnant woman in the face and doused her in lemonade after she invited him to her house party. 

Nathan Buckley was described as being “cocky” and “rude” at his victim's home and attacked her when he was asked to leave.

The woman, who was eight weeks pregnant at the time, suffered a wound to her face, fractured cheekbone and scratched cornea.

READ MORE: 'Cocky' Bolton thug takes smiling selfie after avoiding jail

But Bolton Court heard that, since the incident on December 22, 2018, 27-year-old Buckley has turned his life around, staying out of trouble, giving up drugs, repairing family relationships and getting a job where he has been promoted.

Judge Graeme Smith told him that the efforts he has made enabled him suspend his prison sentence.

David James, prosecuting, told how his victim and a friend had messaged Buckley, a former school pal, at 2.30am, inviting him to come to her home for drinks.

Buckley, of Settle Street, Little Lever, agreed and turned up with another man.

“The description of his behaviour at that time was that he was being cocky and also rude, calling the complainant derogatory names," said Mr James, who added that Buckley ruined the evening.

At 4.30am the woman asked Buckley to leave as she was tired and wanted to go to bed.

“At this point he stood on the couch, picked up a bottle of lemonade and poured it over her head,” said Mr James. The woman shouted at Buckley, who was aware that she was pregnant.

“In response to that she was punched to her face by the defendant before he then left,” said Mr James.

His victim needed hospital treatment where steri strips were used to close a wound.

In a victim statement read in court the woman said she was “devastated” by the assault and it ruined Christmas as she did not want her child or family to see her injuries.

Buckley, who has a criminal record for previous assaults, pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding.

Kevin Liston, defending, told the court: “This is a serious matter. It is unpleasant but it is 29 months ago and I ask the court to consider what the defendant has achieved since this incident.

“It is perhaps a cliched term, but the individual who appeared at that house party back in December 2018 is not the same individual who sits in the dock today.”

Mr Liston said Buckley had been using excessive amounts of cocaine and alcohol to mask mental health issues and described his arrest for the assault as a “wake-up call”.

“He accepts the fault lies completely with him and him alone,” he said.

Judge Smith sentenced Buckley to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months during which he will have to undertake 100 hours of unpaid work and participate in 20 days of rehabilitation activities plus a thinking skills programme.