A NEWPORT man who broke into the home of his girlfriend and assaulted her has been given a suspended sentence, despite his girlfriend standing by him.

Ben Churcher, 20, of Brain Close, Newport, was sentenced at the city's crown court after pleading guilty to criminal damage and assault occasioning actual bodily harm against his girlfriend, Bryony Blanks.

In January 2013, Churcher was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in a young offenders’ institution after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, alongside his uncle, Welsh boxing champion Lee Churcher, who was jailed for four years.

Miss Blanks, who was in the public gallery, did not wish to be part of the prosecution case and is still in a relationship with Churcher.

The court heard how by November 22 last year Mr Church had been released and the pair were at an engagement party.

It was After this at Miss Blanks' home the incident took place. Neighbours, who heard the commotion called the police. Miss Blanks had left the party alone, but Churcher turned up at her Ringland home drunk and angry. Churcher forced his way in and started to punch her repeatedly. He pulled a television from the wall and smashed a picture and bottles before leaving.

He soon returned, this time smashing a front window to gain access. He proceeded to punch her again before the police arrived. Churcher was arrested and taken into custody.

Miss Blanks was taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital where she received 10 stitches around her nose and was treated for a suspected broken nose.

Judge Robert Craven said: “She doesn’t want you to be prosecuted or sentenced, but you have rightly been prosecuted.The worrying thing is this is not the first time you have assaulted a girlfriend. "

In 2012, Churcher was convicted of two offences of battery against a different former girlfriend.

Churcher appeared via video link from Cardiff Prison.

Defending, Harold Baker said: “He was very drunk. He referred himself to anger management in prison. He has got support and a lot of people who care about him.”

Judge Craven gave Churcher was given a six month sentence suspended for 18 months.

He is also required to undergo a domestic abuse programme and complete 100 hours of unpaid work. A restraining order will prevent Churcher from residing at the address of Miss Blank for two months.

There was no separate penalty for the criminal damage charge.