A CONSTRUCTION site boss left his pregnant partner with a fractured eye socket after she ordered him out of her house, a court heard.

Peter Dougal and Joanne Hough had been for a night out before returning to her home late at night, Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court was told.

But when Dougal, who had stopped off for eight cans of beer on the way back, then pulled out some cannabis, Miss Hough, who was 11 weeks pregnant, asked him to leave.

Prosecutor Andrew Mackintosh said she told him: "I am carrying your baby."

Dougal, 32, of Egerton Street, Oldham, grabbed her face and dragged her around the kitchen, Mr Mackintosh told the court.

She screamed at him to stop, hoping neighbours would be alerted and call the police.

He shoved her to the floor and punched her forcefully to the face, the court heard.

Mr Mackintosh said she briefly managed to push him away and struck him to the head with a coffee cup.

But Dougal resumed the attack, the court heard, punching her repeatedly until she blacked out.

He left the house, returning shortly afterwards to find his keys, while she barricaded herself in a bedroom.

Dougal fell asleep on the sofa, the court heard, and Miss Hough rang his mother, to tell her what had happened.

Later she went around to the defendant's sister and together they went to hospital so she could be treated for her injures, which included a fractured eye socket and facial bruising.

Mr Mackintosh said Dougal, after the attack, pledged he would stop drinking and change his behaviour but Miss Hough ended up reporting the assault on her to police on December 26.

In a statement to police, Miss Hough said that during the attack she didn't know when Dougal was going to stop hitting her and feared for her life.

Kimberley Norton, defending, said her client was "deeply ashamed" about what he had done and had sought help in the aftermath of the assault.

He had cut down on his drinking and had been prescribed anti-depressants by his GP, she told the court.

The court heard Miss Hough was not seeking a restraining order, as she still wanted the defendant to play a part in their child's future.

But Miss Norton said he was not sure what form their relationship would take until he had addressed the issues which had resulted in his offending.

Dougal admitted to assault and was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with a two-month curfew.

He must also undertake 10 rehabilitation activity days with the probation service and undergo the 'Thinking Skills' programme.

Passing sentence, Judge Tina Landale said she accepted that the assault was "out of character" and she accepted he had taken steps already to tackle the problems he faced.