A THUG who assaulted his former partner in a pub later sneaked into her home and began threatening her.

Preston Crown Court heard there was a restraining order, issued in November, banning 22-year-old Emile Nicol, who has a previous conviction for violence, from contacting his victim.

Not long after receiving the order, Nicol, of Olive Lane, Darwen, was found to be in breach of one of the conditions after he entered Newton Street in the town.

The court also heard that contact had been made with his former partner on several other occasions after they had reached a mutual agreement to speak with each other.

Then, on March 22, he attacked her in a pub in Darwen.

Prosecuting, Wayne Jackson said: “The defendant was being abusive towards the victim, and then in her words, he back-handed her to the face.

“She left the pub and went home, leaving the door unlocked. But at 4am, she heard a noise and found the defendant had entered her bedroom and began threatening her.

“The following morning, she went to the police and reported his behaviour, which once again contravened the restraining order.”

The court heard Nicol, whose sister Sky died in March 2016 after taking a mixture of cocaine, ecstasy and heroin in Blackburn town centre, had been given community orders by both magistrates and judges after saying his offending was linked to the difficulties he was experiencing as a result of her death.

For this reason courts had chosen to impose lenient sentences on previous convictions.

However, in sentencing Judge Heather Lloyd said: “The fact you have been issued with court orders does not seem to have had any effect on you in stopping you offending.

“You breached them with alacrity. It doesn’t seem to have mattered when you breached them – day, night, afternoon, in the pub.

“It seems to me that you are completely out of control.

“You’ve been given repeated opportunities because of your background, the last in October 2018, but even shortly after, you were breaching the court order by failing to comply with the conditions of the restraining order.

“However, your former partner has repeatedly gone to the courts for help and assistance, but I don’t believe her and only she can break this cycle of domestic abuse.

“She has said she doesn’t remember what has happened on a number of occasions, and seems to have amnesia.”

Judge Lloyd sentenced Nicol to 10 months in prison and ordered the restraining order to remain in place.

Nicol’s former partner was present in court, and following the sentencing, Judge Lloyd offered her some words of advice.

She said: “You had a man in your bedroom threatening you. If you make further complaints to the police and then proceed to be struck down with amnesia, then the court might become cynical about your position, when sometimes, women in your position can end up dead.”