A woman suffered a broken ankle as she was assaulted by a partner during an argument about an under-heated hot tub.

Jonathan Mather, 39, and Kerry Park had been together for about 15 months by the time of the incident.

Generally they got on fine and 'just had their ups and downs', Carlisle Crown Court heard.

But alcohol changed things and, in drink, he would criticise Miss Park’s friends.

She also learned he checked messages on her phone.

They would have 'odd shoving matches'; sometimes she would be more physical and slapped him.

“It appears their relationship could be described as six of one, half-a-dozen of the other,” said prosecutor Alexandra Sutton.

On May 11, they check into a shepherd’s hut in Longtown.

Because their hot tub hadn’t heated up, they ate and drank at a restaurant.

They returned and found the tub water still cool but stayed outside chatting and drinking.

Miss Park then tried the tub but found it too cold.

“Once inside, she quipped that at least she had tried the hot tub,” said Ms Sutton.

“That appears to have been the trigger for his overreaction.”

Mather grabbed and threw her out of the door, causing her to fall down steps and on to her leg, the ankle swelling.

Mather drove off in his car and was 'furious' when returning soon after.

He threw her out again, his grip leaving fingermarks on her skin.

“She fell on the bed," said Ms Sutton. "He grabbed her neck and throat with both hands and began to strangle her.

"He was saying ‘I’ll kill you’.

"She managed to take hold of a kitchen implement and hit him over the head with it.”

An X-ray later showed Miss Park’s ankle was broken.

She suffered a split lip, lump on her head, black eye and bruising.

She initially made a complaint which was later retracted as she no longer wished to support the investigation.

Mather admitted assault and drink-driving after being found twice the legal limit inside his parked car in Longtown.

Judith McCullough, defending, said he now abstained from alcohol while several weeks on remand in custody had been 'a catalyst for good' and the 'wake-up call' he needed.

After hearing Mather, of Westmorland Street, Barrow, had sought to rehabilitate himself, Judge Simon Medland QC imposed a two-year community order with 140 hours’ unpaid work.

Mather was banned from driving for 16 months.

“You know that sort of conduct is completely unacceptable,” said the judge.

“Women are not there in order to act as punch bags for men at any stage.

"If you didn’t know that, then it is absolutely plain to me you know that now.”