A CONVICTED cannabis grower in a 'toxic relationship' twice attacked his ex-partner, pinning her to the bed by her throat on one occasion.

Timothy Bird of Ransome Avenue, Worcester, pleaded guilty to two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on what would have been the first day of his trial at Worcester Crown Court yesterday.

The assaults upon his former partner, Emma Winter, happened on January 11 last year and again on February 2 last year.

The offences also placed him in breach of a suspended sentence (seven months in prison suspended for two years), imposed on June 8, 2018 for the production of cannabis.

David Lee, defending, said the first assault was 'far less serious than the second' and said of his client: "He's not got a bad criminal record. The trial was originally supposed to be in October last year."

However, Mr Lee said the complainant had 'gone on holiday' and the case had been delayed through no fault of the defendant.

The court heard that Bird had previous convictions for being drunk and disorderly in 2016 and 2017 and driving with excess alcohol which resulted in a 15 month driving ban.

Bird was also arrested for breach of bail on October 26 last year.

Mr Lee argued that the cannabis cultivation was 'an entirely different type of offence' to the ones he now faced, asking for the judge to indicate that Bird would not receive an immediate custodial sentence.

"But he accepts there will be a substantial sentence" said Mr Lee.

He added: "It's accepted the relationship was somewhat toxic from both sides. He still lives in the property. She has gone elsewhere. It's not an instance where they wish to get back together or anything of that nature."

The advocate told the judge that his client was a 'working man' and 'physically capable'.

John Brotherton, prosecuting, said the Crown said the second, more serious assault was a category one offence (greater harm), the most serious within the guidelines, 'the reason being the sustained or repeated nature of the assault on the same victim'.

Mr Brotherton also said it was high culpability, involving 'deliberately causing more harm than is necessary'. He told the judge the starting point for sentence within the guidelines was a year and six months in prison with a range available of one to three years in custody.

Describing the assault on January 11 last year, Mr Brotherton said it was 'not as sustained' as the other assault.

"It's pinning her to the bed with his hands around her throat. It's rather different in nature," he said.

Mr Brotherton said this attack left marks under the chin and around the neck of the victim.

The prosecution is expected to ask two further counts to lie on the court file on the next occasion.

Judge Martin Jackson adjourned the case until November 27 for sentence, ordering a pre-sentence report to be prepared by the probation service.

He renewed Bird's bail on the same conditions as before - not to contact Emma Winter directly or indirectly and not to enter Droitwich as defined by the 30mph speed limit signs.

The judge said 'all options' would be open to the sentencing judge on the next occasion.