POLICE have released a photo of a martial arts expert who left his girlfriend fighting for her life after she refused to wear a bikini in his garden, a court heard.

Nigel Paddington strangled, punched, slapped and kicked his girlfriend in a fit of rage at his home in West End. 

A court heard how the 40-year-old of Little Quob Lane launched the attack on Nicola O'Neill on a hot day in July 2020 after realising she wasn't going to wear a bikini top. 

Miss O'Neill was knocked unconscious in the attack which left her with a serious brain injury, a lacerated liver and dislocated arm, as Paddington even threatened to kill her. 

She woke up in hospital the next day and in a statement read out in court, said "There was an 80 per cent chance I could have died", adding that she "ached all over and had a terrible headache". 

READ MORE: Southampton thug jailed for attacking girlfriend

"For the first few days I couldn't eat or drink anything without being sick, and could barely walk.

"When my family collected me I was in a wheelchair. I could see they were visibly shocked."

Paddington later pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent and Catherine Donnelly, prosecuting said the victim suffered life-threatening injuries in the incident and could experience seizures in the future.

But mitigating, Gemma White that Ms O'Neill had made a "relatively good recovery".

Judge Nicholas Rowland jailed Paddington for nine years followed by three years on licence. 

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