A MAN who tried to "cover his tracks" after punching a woman in the face has been handed more jail time.

Ryan Hughes, of no fixed abode, appeared at Wrexham Magistrates Court on Wednesday for sentence.

The Leader reported last week how the 33-year-old was convicted in his absence of assaulting Abby Hickinbottom in Gronant on July 2 last year.

At the trial, which took place on July 19, prosecutor Catherine Elvin explained how the two had spoken for around nine years online before deciding to meet in person.

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The defendant came to stay with 25-year-old Ms Hickinbottom, but about a week and a half later she asked him to leave when she suspected he'd been on the phone with another woman.

The court heard he then became abusive and attacked her, punching her and dragging her by her hair.

Ms Hickinbottom reported the matter to the police, but the trial court heard how the defendant also contacted North Wales Police shortly after the incident claiming to be someone called "James." 

He told the operator he was stood watching a woman assaulting what he believed to be her "other half" in the street - an act Ms Elvin said had been done to "cover his tracks."

The Leader: Ryan Hughes. Image: North Wales PoliceRyan Hughes. Image: North Wales Police

At the sentencing hearing, prosecutor Rhian Jackson told the court Hughes' punch had left the victim with a swollen lip - something the defendant tried to explain away as a result of her "having botox a few weeks previously."

James Morris, defending, told the court the reason his client appeared via video link from prison in Birmingham was that he'd been convicted and sentenced earlier this month to a 36 week custodial sentence in respect of controlling and coercive behaviour with a different complainant.

He said while Hughes maintains he did not assault Ms Hickinbottom, he respected the verdict of the court at the previous hearing.

READ MORE: Man called police after attacking woman in order to "cover his tracks"

Mr Morris added: "He wants to draw a line underneath it and move on.

"He has no issues with the imposition of a restraining order."

The court handed down a 10 week prison sentence to be served on top of his ongoing one, as well as a £128 victim surcharge and £640 costs.

A two year restraining order was made, prohibiting him from approaching or contacting Ms Hickinbottom.

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