A toothache sufferer who couldn’t get to a dentist during lockdown tried to strangle his girlfriend after downing a bottle of vodka to numb the pain.

Aidan Boot launched two separate attacks on his partner and smashed up the kitchen of their home in North Molton during a drunken rage.

She thought he was trying to throttle her and passed out during the attack in which he tried to bite her ear, dragged her around by her hair, and punched her repeatedly in the face.

She locked herself in the bathroom and called the police, who had to taser Boot because he was still being aggressive.

He was spared jail after she forgave him and wrote a letter to the Judge at Exeter Crown Court.

Boot, aged 31, previously of North Molton but now of Hodson Close, Paignton, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm, common assault, criminal damage, obstructing police and failing to answer bail.

He was jailed for 16 months, suspended for two years, ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid community work and attend a Building Better Relationships course by Judge Peter Johnson.

He told him: “As I understand it, you were suffering from toothache and it was your partner’s idea to get a bottle of vodka to give you some comfort. That was not a good idea in any shape or form.

“I struggle to understand how drinking it made you aggressive towards her. You assaulted her and then fell asleep while she walked the dog.

“She came back and put on a film. You woke up, you didn’t like the film, and launched a savage assault on her. You punched her time after time. You tried to bite her and tried to strangle her.

“She was terrified, as we know from the 999 call that she made. It is clear the state she was in.”

Hollie Gilbery, prosecuting, said the attacks took place on the evening of April 2 this year and started with an argument which led to him punching and strangling her.

She freed herself by digging her nails into his neck and the assault stopped. It resumed after she came back from a walk and he throttled her until she lost consciousness.

She thought he was searching for pressure points on her neck and fled to the bathroom after breaking free. Boot refused to let police into the house and had to be tasered before he was arrested.

Althea Brooks, defending, said Boot was suffering from severe toothache from an abscess but could not find an emergency dentist because of lockdown.

He tried ice and clove oil but they did not work and his partner suggested vodka. He drank an entire bottle. He had not used alcohol for four years and it led to him acting completely out of character.

He regretted his behaviour as soon as he was arrested and has tried to sign up for an anger management course. His partner is standing by him and had written a letter of support to the court.

She said: “He says it was the biggest mistake he has ever made and accepts that she absolutely had to call the police to remove him from the situation.

“He has a real sense of shame and remorse and says he acted as if he was some sort of animal.”

Miss Brooks said Boot normally works as an end-of-life carer but is currently on Universal Credit.