THE former girlfriend of a man described by a judge as "a bully" with little regard for the equality of women today tells how she is trying to put her life back together.

Gareth King, 26, of New Inn, Pontypool, was jailed for four years after admitting assaulting former girlfriend Hayley Gunter and being convicted of causing actual bodily harm to housemate Claire Lane, 29.

On Tuesday a jury at Cardiff crown court found King not guilty of attempting to murder Ms Gunter but found him guilty of causing her actual bodily harm.

Judge Mr Justice Christopher Pitchford, delayed sentencing him until he could hear evidence from former model Ms Gunter, 23.

King had admitted the assault at a previous hearing. Giving evidence via videolink, Ms Gunter described an incident involving an argument between her and King on September 2, 2004.

She told the court: "He came in from a night out in Pontypool and he looked angry. You can tell when he is angry because his face changes and his eyes look evil."

She told the court that King threw a mobile phone at her.

She said: "I just ignored him picked my baby up and walked away into the kitchen. He slammed me into a cupboard and shouted at me. He was hitting the doors and spat at me and hit me when I had the baby."

Ms Gunter tearfully told the court that her three children were in the room next door and one of them came into see if she was OK.

She said: "My child saw what he did and no child should have to see that.

He stepped on my ankle, I lost half a tooth when he smashed my mouth and he told me he was going to kill me."

Speaking to the Argus after the hearing Ms Gunter said her weight fell from eight to five stones while with King, and she lived in fear of his angry mood swings.

She said: "I used to fear him but I'm not scared of him any more. I'm much better off without him. I'm trying to get things back on track now. I've gone up from five stone five to eight stone four, so you can see how things have changed.

"I'm pretty now and I wasn't when I was with him. I was struggling with an eating disorder and I looked gaunt and pale and withdrawn.

"I've never done drugs in my life but I looked like a smack-head."

Ms Gunter was a fashion model on the books of agency Fashion Direct, something she gave up when she was with King. "I'm looking to get back into modelling again," she said.

Ms Gunter has since settled with a new partner and is happier with her life, but she was angry at the sentence King was given for the assault on her - one year, with three years for the attack on Ms Lane.

She said: "I wanted to see him get sent down for a long time. It was too lenient."