A MAN who fractured his girlfriend’s eye socket while his daughter was in the next room has been jailed.

Matthew Hayes, 31, of Dalebrook Close, Little Lever assaulted his partner on January 12, 2019, Bolton Crown Court heard.

A friend of the couple, Dalton Hall witnessed the incident which took place at the pair’s home.

Mr Hall said Hayes and his girlfriend began arguing at around 5.30pm after she had returned home from seeing her children, who live with their father in Oldham.

He claimed that they were goading each other with Hayes picking up a perfume bottle at one point, threatening to “smash her up”, to which she replied “let him do it, he’ll never see the kids again”.

After Hayes told her to leave, the argument continued upstairs and became physical.

Mr Hall said he tried to intervene on numerous occasions but Hayes' girlfriend was apparently telling Hayes to hit her.

Hayes then picked her up in a wrestling move and threw her to the floor, before pinning her down.

Mr Hall said Hayes gave his girlfriend a “proper punch” to the left eye, which was so hard that it sent her across the bed and on to the floor on the other side.

She then curled into a ball, screaming in pain.

Her injuries included a fractured orbital floor, bruising to forehead, arms, legs and thighs.

In her victim impact statements, the girlfriend told how she was “mentally drained” and is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Since the incident, she has had surgery to repair her orbital floor but she said still suffers from double vision, headaches and numbness to the left side of her face.

She may also need further surgery and it is not known whether she will ever regain full vision.

The location of the incident and the fact that Hayes’ daughter heard the incident from the room opposite were given as aggravating factors by prosecution barrister Rachel Widdecombe.

However the incident was described as “out of character” by defence barrister Rachel Cooper.

Ms Cooper added: “He accepted at the time he shouldn’t have hit her and he admitted it was unjustified.

“He realises he should have walked away and removed himself.

“He’s very remorseful and he deeply regrets the injury he has caused. He was horrified when he heard the likely outcome of the treatment she receives.

“He knows that he needs to learn how to manage his emotions.”

Sentencing Hayes to 29 months imprisonment, Judge Graeme Smith said: “You punched her as hard as you could. There is no reason whatsoever why you should punch her in that way.

“She’s still affected by it. She has has described it as having a massive impact on her and I would have to agree.”

Hayes was also given a five-year restraining order from directly or indirectly contacting the woman.

Judge Smith added: “Mr Hayes may be taken down.”