A MAN assaulted his partner after "downing" a bottle of gin before getting into his van and driving into his garden wall twice.

Bolton Crown Court heard that Steven Doyle, of Rugby Road, Leigh, was at his home with his long-term partner on January 11 this year.

Doyle, 37, brought home a bottle of gin for his partner's birthday.

Prosecuting, Hayley Bennett, said they had a glass together before Doyle started "downing" the bottle.

His partner took the bottle from him but he got it back so she went upstairs to bed, Miss Bennett said.

Later on, she heard Doyle shouting so she told him to stop.

She asked him repeatedly to leave the house but he refused.

"She describes the defendant grabbing her hair and ramming her head into the window of the front room twice," Miss Bennett said.

Doyle's partner described her head as being sore, with her feeling two lumps on the back of the head.

Doyle then left the house, with her partner believing he did this after realising the police had been called.

She went upstairs to the front bedroom and heard a large bang outside. She looked outside and saw Doyle's van had hit the front garden wall.

A neighbour witnessed Doyle getting into his blue van and driving away before returning around 20 minutes later.

The van then drove straight into the garden wall. The van made a bang when it collided and he then got out the vehicle, according to Miss Bennett.

He then argued with his partner outside before he got back into the van, revving the engine, he then reversed back and drove into the wall.

After a few minutes the van was described as being in a plume of smoke and it was feared the van might blow up or catch fire, Miss Bennett.

Doyle got out of the vehicle and turned its light on before leaving.

Neighbours evacuated their homes and one removed the keys from the ignition.

Police were then alerted by a neighbour.

In a victim impact statement, his partner said: "The whole incident has really upset me.

"At one point I thought the van was going to blow up and I was shouting this down the phone as I was really scared."

Doyle assaulted a second person during the incident too.

The court heard that Doyle had previous convictions for drink driving but had not committed a violence-related offence before.

Defending, Gareth Bellis, said alcohol is at the root of Doyle's offending.

Doyle pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol, criminal damage, two counts of assault and dangerous driving at an earlier hearing.

He appeared in court from prison on a video link after being held on remand.

Judge Graeme Smith told Doyle: "When one listens to the detail of what happened on that evening it is a very nasty evening that unfurled when you had drunk to excess.

"The driving was only short-lived, and there may well not have been a significant risk to other people, but it was very frightening to see a van being driven into the wall on more than one occasion and being revved in the way it was.

"You have accepted responsibility for what has happened, you have expressed regret and you have confirmed that because of the amount of alcohol you had consumed you don't remember everything that happened that evening."

Judge Smith handed Doyle a five-month sentence suspended for 18 months and ordered him to complete 25 days rehabilitation activity requirement days and follow a two-month curfew.

He was banned from driving for 18 months too.

His partner did not want a restraining order imposed with her labelling the incident as "out of character".