A RUGBY player “punched the living daylights” out of his then-partner and grabbed her throat before callously warning: “Your three kids will never see you again.”
Emma Maunder said she “thought she was going to die” when Hartlepool BBOB centre Brian Foreman, 35, grabbed her throat so she couldn’t breath, Durham Crown Court heard.
Foreman “rained punches down on her” as he straddled her on a bench outside a wedding reception.
It comes after Foreman, who scored three tries at the weekend, was given a £350 fine in 2004 after being found guilty of knocking a former girlfriend and mother of his child to the ground.
He had also been convicted of harassment, in 2012 and again this year, as well as battery in 2012 when he gave a man a black eye.
The court heard he had a gambling addiction, with £10,000 debt, is being treated for depression and finds it difficult to accept he has a problem with alcohol.
Recorder of Durham, Judge Robert Adams, told Foreman: “It appears to me your underlying difficulty is you are unable to accept circumstances in respect of previous partners and are unable to accept alcohol is causing you to offend.”
Foreman and Ms Maunder had been together for a year before splitting up in July and they reconciled before Foreman’s cousin’s wedding, at Durham Castle on August 29.
The court was told an argument between Mr Foreman and his father had put him in a “foul mood”.
Ms Maunder, 32, told Foreman not to spoil the evening and they began to argue and she said she wanted to go home.
She hailed a taxi but Foreman became abusive, “putting his face in hers,” said prosecutor David Brooke.
Mr Brooke said a taxi came and Foreman wouldn’t let her shut the taxi door and he grabbed her mobile phone.
The taxi driver left without her and the pair waited on a bench for arranged transport.
Mr Brookes said: “Ms Maunder was very upset, she was telling the defendant she wanted her phone back and that the relationship was over.
“He did give it back, but he straddled her as she sat on the bench. “He began screaming and shouting and he began to rain punches down on her.”
He added: “As she put it, he punched the living daylights out of her.
“She fell to the floor and he continued to hit her.
“He grabbed her throat so she couldn’t breath and he said ‘your three kids will never see you again’.
“She thought she was going to die.”
Mr Brookes said Ms Maunder scratched Foreman’s face to try to fend him off, and he released his grip but carried on punching her.
But others arrived and pulled Foreman away.
Ms Maunder was treated for bruising to her face, neck, arms, hand and upper body.
The court heard Foreman was drunk when he was arrested the next morning and he initially said he had acted in self-defence.
Then he said he had blacked out before hearing shouting and running off.
But Mr Brookes said the crown did not accept this version of events and Judge Adams said this was a “ludicrous assertion”.
Brian Mark, mitigating, urged the judge to suspend any custodial sentence, saying this was “a moment of madness”.
He added that Foreman was to start a job as a welder’s assistant and had got a new house.
He said Foreman accepted the relationship was over.
Judge Adams said no one would benefit from a “short period in custody” for Foreman.
Foreman, of the town’s Bright Street, who has also played for Hartlepool, Hartlepool Rovers and Horden rugby teams, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
He was sentenced to eight months jail, suspended for 18 months, with 150 hours unpaid work, a restraining order and £100 victim surcharge.