A TRAINED chef who fractured his "on-off" partner's chest bone after a "nasty" argument has been jailed.

Michael Barnes punched and kicked his victim following a row at a mutual friend's flat.

His victim suffered a partially displaced fracture to her sternum, which left her needing seven weeks off work without sick pay.

In a separate incident, the 36-year-old kicked in his partner's door, while she was out, in order to collect his clothes.

Appearing at Southampton Crown Court, Barnes, who pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm and criminal damage, was jailed for a year.

The court head the assault took place on June 29 as the pair watched Glastonbury Festival on television at their mutual friends.

Prosecutor Eleanor Fargin said the couple, who were in a "rocky" relationship, began arguing.

Ms Fargin told the court how Barnes' victim said "nasty things" to the defendant, who retaliated with his own verbal abuse.

She said: "There came a point where she said something he did not like. He kicked her to the chest pushing her back on the sofa.

"He then punched her to the face and also bent her wrist back."

Ms Fargin said the victim returned to the work the next day.

She colleagues noticed bruising to the victim's face, which they helped to cover with make-up as she was due to see her daughter.

Ms Fargin said the victim continued to feel pain more than a fortnight on and later went to the hospital, where she was found to have a fractured sternum.

She added that the victim had to take seven weeks off work, without sick pay, and was forced to rely on family members and foodbanks.

In mitigation, Khalid Missouri said Barnes had battled drink and drug addiction following a previous break-up.

He said his client's actions were a reaction to the victim's comments, but said Barnes' behaviour was "disproportionate and terrible".

Mr Missouri said Barnes had delivered one barefoot kick and one punch during the incident.

He said Barnes had been in custody since breaking his bail conditions by visiting his victim – something Barnes also pleaded guilty to.

Mr Missouri added that Barnes had made progress in prison and was now clean of drugs.

Judge Peter Henry sentenced Barnes, of Queens Road, Gosport, to 12 months in prison.

He said: "This was unkind and bullying behaviour. This was a very unpleasant attack."