A Bideford man has been jailed after he kicked and punched his partner in a drunken rage.

Carl Pedlar had been drinking cans of lager with his partner at a park in Bideford before they had an argument at her home.

She fled the house during the attack but he tried to drag her back by her hair as she screamed for help.

He followed her to the nearby rugby field where he could be heard shouting abuse at her during a 999 call which she made to the police.

He only left the scene when he heard police sirens approaching and then made his own 999 call 20 minutes later in which he claimed he was the victim and she was the aggressor.

He refused to return to her home to meet police and could not explain how she had suffered serious bruising to her face and a broken finger.

He claimed he acted in self defence but was found guilty by a jury at Exeter Crown Court.

Pedlar, aged 31, of Capern Street, Bideford, denied assault causing actual bodily harm but was convicted. He was jailed for a year by Recorder Mr James Waddington, QC.

He told him: “You punched her repeatedly, kicked, pulled her by her hair, and left her with injuries to her face. You have previous convictions for assault, but nothing this serious.”

Felicity Payne, prosecuting, said the violence started when the couple, who had known each other for about three years, went back to her house in Bideford on the evening of March 23, 2019.

They had both been drinking at a nearby park during the day and he was drunk. An argument began which led him to attack her in the kitchen.

Miss Payne said: “She described him striking her several times to the head and she recalls him pulling her hair.

“She dropped to the floor and covered her head with her hands and arms to protect herself while he continued to hit her. She also says he kicked her multiple times.

“During this violence she described him striking the wall and leaving numerous holes in the plasterboard. When he stopped the attack, she got to her feet and tried to get out of the front door.

“As she was doing so, he grabbed her hair while she was screaming for help and trying to get him off her. She feared what might happen if she was dragged inside and dropped to the ground to make that more difficult.

“He let go and she was able to run across the road and call 999. During the call he was still with her and they were arguing about a rucksack which he was refusing to return to her.”

In the 999 call the victim said: “I have just been assaulted by my partner. He has trashed my house, he was just punching me in the face over and over again.”

She could be heard on the call arguing with Pedlar, who she called a little waster and a little loser.

Her call was made at 6.03 pm and at 6.23 pm he called police to report that she had attacked him.

He told the jury that during the afternoon she had accused him of fancying another woman and become angry and abusive.

He said she had attacked him at the house and he had defended himself before fleeing, He could not explain her injuries and suggested to police that she had harmed herself.

Richard Crabb, defending, said Pedlar had made great progress in addressing issues of alcohol addiction and homelessness in the 17 months since the incident and would benefit from help from probation rather than a jail sentence.