A MAN who assaulted his ex-partner, who hid in a wardrobe at one stage to escape his violence, has been jailed.

Craig Joseph Richardson, 32, admitted a charge of common assault which put him in breach of an earlier suspended sentence for drugs offences.

Richardson, who previously complained that bail conditions not to return to his flat at Australia Street in Ponciau, Wrexham, were unnecessarily forcing him to sleep in a tent over Christmas, was jailed for a total of 15 months.

Judge David Hale told him at Mold Crown Court: "I am afraid a suspended sentence means what it says."

He had been warned last August that if he reoffended then he would go to jail.

The court heard that he had originally denied a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on Jay Louise Evans but on the day of trial admitted carrying out a common assault on December 9.

But he had later applied for his plea to be vacated, which was rejected

In December he complained that his ex was no longer living at their flat and he was forced to live in a tent in a friend's rear garden over the festive season. But magistrates refused to lift the bail restriction at that stage.

It was claimed in the crown court that he had put forward a basis of plea of using excessive self-defence but the judge and the prosecution said that there was no record of a basis of plea.

Barrister Jemma Gordon, prosecuting, said that a friend of the victim made a 999 call to say she had been assaulted and needed medical attention.

She was found in an upstairs bedroom with severe swelling to the right eye and bruising and swelling to the face.

Following a previous head injury she had short term memory issues.

She recalled being in bed when Richardson and a friend returned and Richardson told her to get up and to get out of the house.

He left and returned still agitated and when she ran a bath he pushed her head under the water a few times.

She recalled being in the bedroom with Richardson on top of her, punching her head with both fists.

The victim tried to kick out at him but he continued to strike her.

He threatened to bite her nose off and opened his mouth as if to bite her.

She tried to protect herself and he bit one of her fingers.

The next thing she recalled was being in a wardrobe hiding from him.

She dressed and went to leave to go to a friend's home but he grabbed her and headbutted her.

Interviewed, he denied assault and claimed that she had thrown a wardrobe at him.

There were no broken bones but she had bruising, two black eyes, a lump on her forehead and swelling and bruising to the face and body.

In a victim impact statement she told how she suffered from headaches daily and had to take pain killers.

At times the pain behind her right eye was so bad that she was physically sick.

She had 24 hour a day care and was too scared to go out alone.

The victim told how she did not answer the door or answer the phone and thought about what had happened all the time.

She did not let her two children see her for two weeks so that they would not see the injuries she suffered.

The victim told how she had previously been independent, confident and out-going but there had been a change in her personality after what had happened.

Miss Gordon said Richardson had previous convictions for 51 offences and in August of last year received a 20 month sentence suspended for two years for supplying class A drugs.

Barrister Oliver King, defending, stressed the offence was totally different to the drugs offence for which he had a suspended sentence.

Richardson, he said, had made good progress under the suspended sentence.

After previously struggling to comply with court orders, a report on him showed there had been a considerable improvement and he was co-operative, was attending probation service appointments and was voluntarily being drug tested.

He was co-operating with social services with the intention of having more contact with his son.

Richardson had secured new accommodation and Mr King said all he had been achieved would be undermined if he went to prison.

Judge Hale told Richardson that it was a great shame because in many ways he had made progress in certain parts of his life.

He activated 12 months of the suspended sentence and imposed a consecutive three month sentence for the common assault.

Richardson also received concurrent two month sentences for two charges of driving while disqualified.

The judge said Richardson paid no attention to driving rules.