A man was "like a Rottweiler" as he viciously attacked a former partner who intervened to help save his life, a court has heard. Ashley Bryan suffered a drug-induced seizure and his ex put him in the recovery position to stop him from choking - he responded by punching the woman then dragging her outside by her hair before kicking and throttling her.

Bryan's barrister told Swansea Crown Court his client had begun using cannabis at the age of 13 and heroin at the age of 15 and then after a decade addicted to that drug moved on to cocaine. He said his client cannot recall the assault due to his "drug-addled state".

Regan Walters, prosecuting, said the complainant in the case was a former partner of the defendant - although the couple had split they were still in contact with one another. On August 13 last year Bryan suffered a drug-related seizure while they were together, and his ex put him in the recovery position. The court heard the 37-year-old defendant then became aggressive, getting to his feet and "swinging punches" - one of which connected with the woman's jaw. Bryan grabbed his former partner by the hair and dragged her out of the Llanelli property and into the garden where he kicked her to the ribs and head. The defendant then ripped the woman's top and wrapped it around her throat. The woman managed to flee to a nearby taxi office where she stayed until the defendant left. Clumps of her hair were later found outside the flat.

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The prosecutor said the woman told her domestic violence advisor about the assault the next day and police began looking for the defendant. He was spotted by an officer in Llanelli town centre on August 16 and he tried to evade arrest first by "hiding behind a post" then ducking into a Job Centre. In his subsequent interview he gave a prepared statement denying causing any injury and then answered "no comment" to all questions asked.

In an impact statement read to the court by the prosecutor, the victim said she had only tried to save Bryan's life and he had responded with a "vicious" attack. She described the defendant as being like a "Rottweiler" and said she could never forgive him for what he had done. The woman said the assault had turned her life upside down, caused her post traumatic stress disorder and seen her mental health "go through the roof".

Ashley Bryan, of Station Road, Llanelli, had previously pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm when he appeared in the dock for sentencing. He has 47 previous convictions for 78 offences including "multiple" thefts, burglaries, possession of drugs, and assaulting an emergency worker. He was out of prison on licence for the assault on an emergency worker at the time he attacked his ex-partner. Richard Ace, for Bryan, said the defendant has no memory of the incident due to his "drug-addled state". He said his client had started using cannabis at the age of 13 before using heroin at the age of 15, and after a decade in the grips of an addiction to that drug had then moved on to cocaine. He added that Bryan wanted to work towards having a "fulfilling future".

Judge Paul Thomas KC said it was clear drugs had been a significant issue in the defendant's life for many years as had mental health issues, something which "may or may not" be linked to his drug abuse. He said the complainant had tried to help the defendant after he suffered a seizure and he had repaid that act by assaulting her including by the use of strangulation. The judge said the offence was far too serious for any sentence other than one of immediate custody. With a 10 per cent discount for his guilty plea Bryan was sentenced to 18 months in prison - he will serve up to half that sentence in custody before being released on licence to serve the remainder in the community. Bryan was also made the subject of a three-year restraining order banning him from contacting his ex. For the latest court reports, sign up to our crime newsletter here

How to access free domestic abuse helplines in Wales

If you, a family member, or a friend have experienced domestic abuse or sexual violence, you can contact the Live Fear Free helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for free advice and support, or to talk through your options. Call 0808 80 10 800, text 0786 007 7333, email info@livefearfreehelpline.wales or go to gov.wales/live-fear-free

Live Fear Free (funded by Welsh Government and run by Welsh Women’s Aid) is a confidential service. Calls to 0808 80 numbers are free to call from landlines and mobile phones in the UK. They do not appear on itemised bills. The helpline provides support in English and Welsh, and access to an interpreter for callers with language support needs.

The Refuge charity also provides information, support and practical help 24 hours a day to women experiencing domestic violence. The service can refer women and children to refuges throughout the UK to help them escape domestic abuse. Refuge can be called on 0808 808 9999.

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