A JEALOUS Dudley man who threatened to kill his former lover with a hammer has been spared a prison sentence.

Mark Dennis lashed out ten times with the hammer leaving his victim badly bruised because he thought she had been unfaithful.

The 48-year-old told her "I should cave your head in” and threatened to hit her in the face and kill her before repeatedly striking her legs with the weapon leaving her in considerable pain.

At Wolverhampton Crown Court, Judge Martin Walsh told Dennis: "You thoroughly deserve to go to prison for what you did. The injuries you caused were unpleasant but they could have been much more severe.

"This was a sustained attack on a vulnerable victim in her own home."

The judge however ruled it would be far more productive for Dennis to receive assistance from the probation service to prevent a repetition of the offending.

Dennis, of Broom Road, Wrens Nest, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and he was given a 12 month jail term suspended for two years.

The judge further placed him on supervision for two years and made a five year restraining order forbidding him from having any contact with his former partner.

Mark Phillips, prosecuting, said the pair had been in a volatile relationship for 13 years and Dennis became jealous after he had been out drinking.

He accused her of having affairs and then checked her mobile telephone to see if there were any text messages from other men before becoming abusive and arming himself with the hammer.

The woman who told police her ordeal lasted for about 20 minutes said in a victim impact statement the attack had left her fearful and frightened.

Rashid Mohammed, for Dennis, accepted it was an unpleasant incident but stressed his client had little recollection of what happened because of the alcohol he had consumed.

He said the only reason Dennis picked up the hammer was to frighten his partner and it had never been his intention to cause her any harm.

Mr Mohammed added: "He acknowledges the relationship is now well and truly over. He recognises his wrong doing and, since the incident, he has refrained from alcohol."