A MAN who punched his ex-girlfriend in the face, breaking her jaw, was jailed for fifteen months on Friday.

Nicholas Young, 23, of Westwood Road, Salisbury, attacked his victim Elizabeth Reese when she returned from a birthday night out with friends in the early hours of September 10.

His relationship with the victim, which by then had ended, was “marred by turbulent incidents”, the court heard.

Prosecuting, Colin Meeke said Young had continued to pester his ex and make a nuisance of himself, “keeping an eye on her movements”.

On the night of the attack, Miss Young has gone out to her car to find her tobacco when Mr Meeke said the defendant had “appeared from the shadows”.

“There followed an ugly exchange of words,” said Mr Meeke.

“He was effing and blinding at her and calling her a liar.

“He then punched her in the face.

“She punched back and he continued to strike her, eventually knocking her down.”

Mr Meeke said the blows had fractured Miss Rees’s lower jaw.

Young had previously pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm.

Defending, Michael Butt said his client had spent the last five months in custody and had been behaving himself.

He said Young, whose criminal record includes battery, false imprisonment and arson, had even “achieved a position of trust” and was involved in educational activities.

“His regrettable history already at the age of 23 does involve some cases of violence, but none involved attacking a female,” he said.

“His first experience in custody has been a real wakeup call.

He said the pair’s relationship had been “volatile” and the arguments and aggression were “not all one way”.

“The defendant lashing out and punching the complainant in this case was an expression of frustration and anger by him at the failure of the relationship,” said Mr Butt.

Sentencing Young, Judge Barnett said: “You struck Miss Rees with sufficient force to break her jaw, which thankfully has healed.

“This sort of conduct will not be tolerated.

“Violence, in particular violence against a woman, is something society rightly deprecates and punishment follows for people who do that.”

Judge Barnett also imposed a restraining order on Young, banning him from contacting Miss Rees for five years.