A FORMER boxer tried to strangle the mother of his young daughter has been given a suspended prison sentence.

But ex-fighter Billy McNamara, who now runs a popular gym in Urmston, was told if he offends again he will be jailed.

Defence counsel David Bentley told Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court his client had suffered a string of serious head injuries which had affected his behaviour.

Passing sentence though, Judge Angela Nield said McNamara's attack on his vulnerable ex-partner. Emma Bent, in her own home, was "frightening".

Prosecutors say McNamara, 26, subjected Miss Bent to a “sustained attack” late at night, which later left her afraid to go out.

Before the violence she had been sufficiently worried to obtain a domestic violence order against him, the court heard.

McNamara, of Barton Road, Urmston, who had admitted assault, was given a 15-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. He must complete 30 rehabilitation activity days and observe a four-month curfew.

Judge Nield also imposed a five-year restraining order, barring McNamara from any contact with his former lover.

Prosecutor Andrew Mackintosh told an earlier hearing how the defendant had turned up at Miss Bent's home after he had been drinking, walked in without invitation and squeezed her breast.

He then climbed into her bed and asked for her phone so he could watch porn.

Miss Bent went and hid in the bathroom at one point but he came in and twice tried to throttle her.

Mr Mackintosh said: “She said she couldn’t breathe and was in fear of her life.”

Mr Bentley, defending, said a number of character references had been sent to the court, outlining how his gym offered training for youngsters and how McNamara coached in local schools.

"He has shown a very high degree or remorse," he added.

Mr Bentley, at the least hearing, outlined three incidents - a serious attack with a bottle in 2016, a collision with a lamp-post while on holiday in Benidorm in 2018 and a fall in Spinningfields in 2019, each of which had left McNamara with serious head traumas.