A FORMER soldier is facing a lengthy jail sentence after he was found guilty by a jury of waterboarding his former girlfriend in a jealous rage.

Gareth Thomas, formerly of Newport, was accused of “many instances of gratuitous violence” by prosecutor Harry Baker during his trial at the city’s crown court.

The 37-year-old was convicted of controlling and coercive behaviour and three counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Mr Baker said Thomas would make his victim don boxing gloves and would beat her up in “uneven” bouts during a sustained campaign of domestic abuse.

The prosecution told the jury how he would force her to do sit-ups and press-ups while throwing food at her.

The defendant, now of Upper Waun Street, Blaenavon, was cleared of two counts of wounding with intent and two of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He was acquitted of branding her with a heat gun used in decorating for stripping wallpaper.

Thomas was also found not guilty of hitting her so hard that she miscarried a baby.

Mr Baker said the defendant had accused the woman of having sex with someone else in the shower and had “waterboarded her”.

He told the court: “He put a pillow over her head, taped it over her and started pouring water over her.

“She is unsure how long it lasted. He told her, ‘Stop playing your silly games and tell the truth.’

“He then took the pillow off her and made her clean up the water.”

Thomas, defended by his barrister Nigel Fryer, had denies all the allegations against him and the jury heard that he was “shocked” by them.

They heard that the defendant maintained that he wasn’t “jealous” and had remarked that the accusations were “ridiculous”.

The trial judge, Recorder Caroline Rees QC, adjourned sentence until Friday, May 17 and Thomas was remanded in custody.