A SOUTHAMPTON man, who left his former partner with a fractured cheekbone, has been spared an immediate prison sentence.

Peter Brown had a strained relationship with Gemma Skeates after they separated and the volence flared in an argument over money.

Prosecutor Stuart Ellacott told the city crown court Brown punched her in the face, which caused a displaced fracture of a cheekbone, before she was able to push him away. After he left, she contacted the police.

Brown, 32, of Porlock Road, Millbrook, admitted causing actual bodily harm for which he received a six month suspended sentence with 12 months supervision and an order to carry out 100 hours work for the community.

Leah Dillon, in mitigation, said the violence had not been premeditated. “It was spur of the moment and he simply lost his temper. He is not only sorry for what happened but also ashamed.”

Recorder Howard Palmer QC told Brown: “I accept there was an argument but your response was quite wrong and completely over the top.”