AN unemployed chef convicted of beating up his partner during a “volatile” 14-month relationship has been made the subject of an indefinite restraining order.

Philip Davidson, of Hazel Avenue, Darlington, was found guilty of assault by beating after a two-day trial.

At the Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court hearing to determine his sentence, the bench was told how the 35-year-old tried to control every aspect of his partner's life, telling her what to wear and what to say.

He was arrested when police were called by a neighbour to a disturbance. At first, his partner claimed she had fallen down stairs However, prosecutor Hari Jandoo said there was no evidence to support this.

“It was not possible, there was no blood on the carpet. It was a head butt, there was blood on the clothing.”

Mr Jandoo said that although the defendant had continued to deny the offence, magistrates had found the victim to be a compelling witness, supported by the evidence.

Amrit Jandoo, defending, conceded the relationship between Davidson and his victim had been a volatile onebut had now ended.

“One of the key aspects was alcohol. It is fair to say alcohol has been a problem for 12 to 18 months.

“His father passed away in 2010 and his marriage broke up shortly after that.

“Throughout 2011 and early 2012, he struggled immensely with alcohol, drinking up to a litre of vodka a day.”

He said Davidson had taken steps to address the problem, working with the North East Council on Addictions (NECA) for the last six months and that he was currently going through the interview process for a new job.

As well as being made subject to a restraining order, which prohibits Davidson from contacting his victim either directly or via a third party, he was given an 18-month supervision order and told he must complete 100 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay £200 compensation to his victim and £300 costs.