A JEALOUS ex-soldier gave his girlfriend a black eye with a "sickening" punch because he thought other men had been eyeing her up in a Stourport pub.

Elliott Nash admitted punching his then girlfriend Eve Strawford in the face at a Stourport hotel after a night out drinking in the town when he appeared at Worcester Crown Court on Tuesday.

The 34-year-old of Chatham Road, Birmingham, also admitted being in breach of a suspended sentence order imposed for assault occasioning actual bodily harm against a man in a pub.

Nash pleaded guilty to the battery charge on what would have been the first day of his trial.

This meant witnesses had to attend court, reducing the discount in the length of any prison sentence he would receive to just 10 per cent.

Amanda O’Mara, prosecuting, said the couple were celebrating knowing each other for a year with a few drinks in Stourport on May 31.

She said: "The defendant was telling Miss Strawford where to sit in the pub because he thought men were looking at her.

"He was getting worked up. He was saying he was going to punch the man who was looking at him."

The couple went to another pub in the town and returned to their hotel where Miss Strawford "told the defendant she would go home if carried on his behaviour".

Other guests in the hotel informed the night porter there was a disturbance in one of the rooms.

The porter described hearing a male voice that was "aggressive and threatening" followed by "a loud thud that sickened him".

He heard a female voice saying: "My head, my nose - you punched me!"

At this stage, he knocked on the door and when it was opened he could see Miss Strawford crying with her head in her hands.

The judge was shown a photo of the black eye she suffered. In a victim personal statement she said was still scared on June 4, days after the attack which took place on May 31.

"She was concerned his behaviour changed so quickly," said Miss O'Mara.

Her son, who is six years old, saw her injury and she felt it "wasn't right her child had to see her that way".

Anthony Cartin, defending, said there had been an argument in the room and that Nash had delivered a single punch.

"It wasn't just the male voice that was shouting and being abusive. There was abuse coming back the other way," he said.

Mr Cartin said his client was ex-army, serving between the ages of 16 and 24.

He suffered from PTSD after three tours in Afghanistan, Northern Ireland and Iraq but was having therapy and had undertaken a course while in custody.

"He had taken cocaine on the night in question," said Mr Cartin.

Nash was keen to rebuild the painting and decorating business he had started before his incarceration.

Recorder Benjamin Nicholls imposed a five year restraining order, preventing Nash from having contact directly or indirectly with the victim, and from going near her home.

He told Nash the assault on his girlfriend was "serious in the context of a common assault" and had happened just three months after the ABH on a man in a pub.

"When you were in the pub on May 31 this year you exhibited controlling behaviour and jealousy, deciding where she should or should not sit.

"Back at the hotel there was an argument. You assaulted her, punching her to the eye, causing her a black eye. Other residents complained and the night porter heard a sickening thud."

He said he was aware of the effect of serving on soldiers, particularly in Afghanistan, but added: "What is really serious is that her six-year-old son saw the injury and asked about it.

"It's very difficult for a six-year-old boy to cope with the fact his mother is injured," said Recorder Nicholls.

He jailed Nash for 26 weeks.