A jilted boyfriend has been jailed after he knocked his ex-partner unconscious and forced her to flee her home and seek refuge with neighbours.

Daniel Braybrook had already broken a ban on contacting the victim eight times when he invited himself back to her home in Holsworthy after an officially sanctioned child contact visit in Okehampton.

He got drunk and then attacked her, causing her to pass out and fall down the stairs where she suffered a back injury as she landed on packages in her hallway.

He battered her around the head and left her with bruising all over her face, including two black eyes and a partially dislodged tooth, and then cut the phone line to prevent her calling the police.

She managed to get out of her back door, climb over a garden fence and seek shelter with her neighbours at 1.30 am. They had already called the police 30 minutes earlier but no officers had turned up.

Braybrook followed the victim into the neighbour’s garden, where he grabbed a fork and used it to try to batter down their back door. By now they were on the phone to the police again and this time officers arrived and arrested the attacker.

He had been in a relationship with the victim for three years and they had a child together but they could not cope with the strains of lockdown and split up. He was banned from seeing her by a restraining order after an earlier attack.

Former Brixham trawlerman Braybrook, aged 30, of Stanley Gardens, Paignton, admitted breaching a restraining order, assault causing actual bodily harm and two offences of criminal damage.

He was jailed for a total of three years and six months by Judge Stephen Climie at Exeter Crown Court and banned from any further contact with the victim and her family for ten years under a new restraining order which also prohibits him from entering Holsworthy.

The judge told him: “You demonstrated a truly flagrant disregard for this court’s authority. You have been given opportunity after opportunity after opportunity. The sentence must reflect your repeated breaches of the order and the violence you inflicted on the victim.”

Miss Felicity Payne, prosecuting, said Braybrook had five previous convictions for breaking the restraining order which encompass eight different occasions when he has contravened it.

She said he went to her home on May 21 this year and took her to a pub where he took her phone off her to prevent her calling the police. He then went back to her house where he attacked her after an argument.

Neighbours were so worried about the noise of shouting, banging, and objects being thrown that they called the police at 1 am. They still hadn’t turned up half an hour later when the victim escaped and sought shelter with them.

She was too frightened to talk to police on the night but later revealed that Braybrook had hit her and held her down with his hand on her throat. She could not remember how she fell down the stairs and says she passed out at least once during the sustained attack.

She had been terrified by the attack and at one stage had pretended to be unconscious, only for him to tell her to ‘stop faking it’.

Braybrook cut the landline phone wire and punched a hole in a wall at her home as well as damaging the neighbour’s back door with a garden fork.

In a victim personal statement, she said her relationship with Braybrook and the assault had a massive effect on her life and she struggles to trust other people.

Mr Simon Burns, defending, said Braybrook met his ex for a supervised child contact meeting in Okehampton and she had invited him back to Holsworthy but things had deteriorated and an argument ensued which turned violent.

He said Braybrook now accepts that the relationship is over and plans to move away from the area when he is released. He has previously worked as a trawlerman, which may explain why he found the confines of lockdown difficult, leading to the previously happy relationship turning sour.