Prosecutor Richard Franck said that McAllister and Ms Allen, who lives in Lower Quinton, had been in a relationship which had lasted for about 18 months.

But in June last year, for an assault on her during which he grabbed her hair and banged her head against a wall, McAllister was given a 12-week suspended prison sentence and ordered to take part in an alcohol treatment programme.

He was also made subject to an indefinite restraining order under which he was banned from contacting Ms Allen or going to her home.

Despite that order, McAllister turned up at her home on 31st August, although Ms Allen who, said Mr Franck, was completely dependent on alcohol, could not say at what time because she was already drunk.

McAllister asked if he could stay, and she agreed, but after he went out on 3rd September she decided she did not want him there and refused to let him in when he returned at 6pm.

He threatened to break the door down, so she opened it, and he then began shouting at her, accusing her of having a relationship with a friend of his, and punched her twice.

McAllister spent the night there, and when Ms Allen woke the next morning he threatened her. She then suggested that she go to a nearby shop to get something to drink, and he allowed her to leave, but instead she called a friend who went to the shop to collect her.

The court heard that McAllister had entered his guilty plea on the basis that he had punched her twice to the face, but that other injuries she was found to have had been caused when she had fallen down the stairs a few days earlier.

Mr Franck added that as well as his assault on Ms Allen, McAllister had other convictions for violence, including assaulting an ex-partner in 200 and a girlfriend in 2002.

Tom Walkling, defending, said: “Mr McAllister has been an alcoholic since he was a teenager. As alcoholics frequently do, he finds himself in relationships with women who are also alcoholics; and those relationships are unhealthy for all concerned and they become volatile. He knows he cannot continue with relationships like that, and he is determined to have absolutely no contact with this woman ever again.”

Mr Walkling, who conceded that it had to be a prison sentence, added that since being remanded in custody McAllister had been forced to dry out.

Judge Sylvia de Bertodano jailed McAllister for nine months for the assault, with a consecutive three-month sentence for breaching the restraining order, and also ordered him to serve two months of his suspended sentence on top of that.

She told him: “You know that violence is always more serious when it happens in a domestic context because someone who is entitled to look to you for love and support is met by violence. This lady was particularly vulnerable because she was an alcoholic; and you should know better than most how vulnerable that made her because you are also an alcoholic. Your behaviour is aggravated by your previous convictions for assault in a domestic context and by the exceptional vulnerability of this victim.”