A BULLYING boyfriend who cut his partner's head in a bottle attack has walked free from court.

Richard Preston was given a suspended prison sentence despite a record of violence against the woman.

Judge Tony Briggs told him that if he breaches the conditions of the sentence he will be locked up.

"If I've got it wrong, I should have the chance to put it right," he told the 26-year-old, from Darlington.

Teesside Crown Court heard how trouble flared between the couple on a night out on February 21.

Preston returned home early after an argument about Facebook, and has partner stayed out.

When she went back an hour later, Preston had two other women in the house, the court heard.

Prosecutor David Crook said the lout tried to humiliate his girlfriend before they rowed again.

"During that argument, the defendant struck her with a bottle, causing her to fall to the floor.

"He didn't seem to be fazed by that, and didn't assist her, despite blood coming from her head," said Mr Crook.

The woman also suffered a cut lip, and was treated in hospital, but Preston denied that was caused by a kick to the face.

"It seems to be accepted by all that the relationship is over," Mr Crook told the court.

"When he was arrested, the defendant said 'I lobbed a bottle at my mate, and it hit her'.

"He claimed she had lost the plot when she returned home, and that's how things developed."

The court heard that Preston was cautioned in 2012 for assaulting his partner, and last year appeared in court for kicking her in the head in the street.

Kieran Rainey, mitigating, said: "Mr Preston is ashamed of his actions, and accepts that they have brought the relationship to an end. He truly regrets that."

Preston, of Eggleston View, Darlington, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and was given a nine-month jail sentence, suspended for two years.

Judge Briggs also ordered him to go on a domestic violence programme, and an alcohol course, and undergo probation supervision.

"Provided you comply with these requirements, and obey the instructions of the Probation Service, that will be the end of the matter.

"If you fail to abide by the terms, I'm afraid you are likely to get locked up."

Mr Rainey said: "He said he will comply with anything and treat it like a job until he completes the elements.

"It certainly would benefit the community for him to deal with alcohol and also a domestic violence course."