A VIOLENT thug smashed the windscreen of a passing car with a baseball bat after dragging his girlfriend down the stairs in front of their toddler.

Samantha Higham had been in a room of the home she shared with her partner of 20 years Robert Ure on May 17 when he threw her clothes out of the house after a row started.

With their two-year-old daughter watching on, Ure, 40, then dragged Miss Higham out of the room and down the stairs, causing bruising to her arm.

After running out of their home in Trinkeld Avenue in Swarthmoor, Miss Higham flagged down passing motorist Rob Prosser and asked him to call 999.

Meanwhile, Ure had followed her out of the house brandishing a baseball bat, and then used it to smash the windscreen of Mr Prosser's car.

At Furness Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, Ure pleaded guilty to assault by beating and criminal damage.

Defence solicitor Ms Maureen Fawcett told the court that Ure met the car owner at a garage the next day when they both took their cars in, and offered to pay for the damage.

Ure was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work, pay £450 compensation to Mr Prosser - an amount that can be reduced if it can be proven anything has already been paid, and £85 court costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

Chair of magistrates, Mr Ian Skillen told Ure: "This is a very degrading way to treat anyone in their own home."