An ex serviceman has been jailed for more than two years after a ‘jealous and possessive’ attack on his ex-wife in which he strangled, kicked and headbutted her.

Jamie Bayliss was banned from visiting her home because of earlier violence but got in through a window and subjected her to a terrifying hour-long ordeal.

The attack woke her two young children and her daughter recorded some of it and went on social media to plead for help because she thought her mother was going to be killed.

Bayliss is a former soldier who served in Afghanistan and who has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since his arrest.

He was jailed at Exeter Crown Court after a judge told him he has a despicable record of domestic violence and was motivated by jealousy rather than anything directly linked to his mental illness.

Bayliss, aged 26, of Barton Tors, Bideford, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and breaching a restraining order and was jailed for two years and a month by Judge David Evans.

He told him: "You thought your ex wife had been intimate with another man. You were recorded saying you would rather she was dead than in the arms of another man.

"There may be a mental health background, the link between that and these offences is relatively weak. This was not in any shape or form a hyper-reaction to a potential threat as one might see with someone with PTSD.

"That had nothing to do with it. No-one was threatening you. You were clearly angry and acting as a jealous and possessive ex partner.

"It developed into a physical assault because you were frustrated with her lack of immediate submissiveness. That is why you assaulted her. The cause was your aggression and intoxication.

"It is said you are not a wicked man, but you certainly have a despicable tendency toward domestic abuse."

Mary McCarthy, prosecuting, said Bayliss was separated from his partner and was subject to a restraining order and was on a suspended sentence because of an earlier assault.

He had been drinking before going to her home, entering through a bedroom, and confronting her in her bedroom. He was argumentative and abusive and ended up attacking her.

He launched a series of assaults over an hour in which he strangled her until she could not breathe and was seeing stars, kicked her, and headbutted her.

The attack woke the two children in the house and Bayliss broke off the attack to take one back to bed a couple of times before resuming the violence.

Nick Lewin, defending, said Bayliss is suffering from PTSD as a result of his experiences during active service in Afghanistan.

The condition had not been diagnosed at the time and Bayliss was using alcohol and some drugs to cope with his mental turmoil. He is now receiving help from ex service organisations.

He said: "He is not a fundamentally wicked man. He is a man with problems which have undoubtedly led to his alcohol and drug use."