A MAN paused to pet his ex partner's dog in the street before spitting in her face, a court heard.

Appearing at North East Wales Magistrates' Court, Neil Jones, of Church Street, Flint, pleaded guilty to an assault charge following the incident on May 5.

Justin Espie, prosecuting, said Gaynor Ouslem was walking her dog through Flint at around midday when she was approached by Jones, 53.

The pair had been a couple for around 18 months eight years previously and although they had made "small talk" before, Ms Ouslem, who is the landlady at The Dee Inn in Flint, was aware there had been issues with Jones' behaviour in the pub.

Ms Ouslem described Jones as being "intoxicated" as he came up to her saying "you're a f***ing p***k" before petting her dog and then spitting directly into her face.

In a victim impact statement read out by Mr Espie, Ms Ouslem said she no longer felt safe going out on her own especially at night because she was not sure what Jones was capable of if he was prepared to attack her during broad daylight.

David Matthews, defending, said his client admitted what had happened was "disgusting" and "unforgivable" but added Jones had not been in trouble for 12 years so the offence was out of character.

Mr Matthews said Jones had received a brain injury several years ago which left him easily confused and this may have contributed to his behaviour.

He said Jones was a skilled engineer who had worked for the European Space Agency on the building of various satellites but his injury meant he was not currently working.

He added that the victim had made a comment to Jones which he had taken "in a bad way" leading him to spit in her face.

Ordering a probation report, Deputy District Judge John Maxwell, said: "spitting in someone's face is dreadful - it is worse than hitting someone".

Probation officer Zoe Lewis said Jones felt both is own and Ms Ouslem's alcohol intake at the time of their relationship had affected their dealings with each other.

She said that on the day of the offence, Jones said he had been to Tesco and was walking through the park when he saw Ms Ouslem and went over to her because he wanted to see the dog.

He felt she had provoked him with something she said and he "felt annoyed and saw red". He also said he was not under the influence of drink or drugs at the time.

Deputy District Judge Maxell said: "I accept that you are remorseful but I can see where the build up to this has come.

"It is a horrible thing and most people would rather they were punished than spat at. This lady does not know if you have any infectious diseases and that's what really frightens people."

He imposed a 12 month community order with a 20 day rehabilitation activity requirement and fined Jones £5. The defendant will also have to pay Ms Ouslem £250 compensation and court costs of £85.

Jones will also be the subject of a restraining order for two years not to approach Ms Ouslem or to enter the Dee Inn.