A man with a long history of violence left his pregnant partner and her friend “fearing he would kill them.”

Joshua Rowley, 31 of Westwood Close, Farnworth, was already well known to the police and the courts system when, on February 10 last year, he became violent and aggressive with his pregnant partner while they were staying at her friend’s house in Farnworth.

Bolton Crown Court heard how Rowley had been drinking and taking drugs before shouting that he wanted to start fights with the neighbours, with his anger reaching such a pitch that both women feared for their lives.

Suzanne Hargreaves, prosecuting, said: “A victim impact statement repeatedly says that she feared he would kill them.”

Rowley told his then girlfriend “the only way I’m leaving is in a police van.”

But when police were called, Rowley left before they arrived.

He was only arrested after a search of the nearby area and officers arranged, by phone, to meet him at a petrol station just after midnight.

In court Rowley pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour.

Ms Hargreaves told the court that Rowley has a criminal record marked by violence and aggression with 22 previous convictions for 35 offences, most of them involving offences of violence and criminal damage.

He had committed actual bodily harm in 2009 and again in 2010.

The next year he assaulted two police officers, a crime he would replicate earlier this year when he spat at a police officer on March 26.

Rowley appeared in court for sentence via a video link from Forest Bank prison, where he is serving a sentence for breaching a restraining order protecting another previous partner.

Andrew Evans, defending, admitted his client has a “poor record for similar offending” but said that, in this case, the threatening behaviour had not been sustained and had not involved weapons.

Addressing Rowley, Judge Eliot Knopf said: “Your actions that night reflect a pattern of behaviour over many years.”

He added: “The conclusion one is forced to, in the circumstances, is that you simply do not get it.”

He sentenced him to 102 days in prison to be added to the eight month sentence he is already serving.