A demolition worker who had drunk eight pints beat up his partner so badly he left her severely brain damaged, Bradford Crown Court heard.

School secretary Stephanie Bedford was discovered unconscious with a life-threatening head injury at the house in Deanside Terrace, Wibsey, Bradford, she shared with Damian Terry.

Terry, who had called an ambulance, told the police Miss Bedford fell down the steps.

Prosecutor Patrick Palmer said the couple had been together for about a year before the assault at about midnight on December 21, 2012.

Terry, 41, was jailed for three years yesterday for causing Miss Bedford grievous bodily harm.

Her relatives wept as Judge Peter Benson said: “The family might see that as a wholly inadequate sentence but my hands are tied by the statutory maximum.”

Terry was originally charged with wounding with intent but his guilty plea to the less serious offence was accepted because the Crown concluded he did not intend to cause such serious injuries.

Mr Palmer said neighbours heard a woman crying and shouting: “Help me please.”

Terry, who told the police he had drunk eight pints that night, said the back steps were “a bit slippy.”

Miss Bedford was treated in Bradford Royal Infirmary for skull fractures, bleeding and bruising on the brain and a fractured spine.

There was old and new bruising on her body, thumbprint marks to her neck and defensive injuries on her arms.

“Her injuries were severe and life-threatening,” Mr Palmer said.

There were at least three impacts to her head, gripping injuries to her neck and arms and bruising consistent with being struck by a stick or bat.

The court heard that Miss Bedford was left grieving for the person she used to be.

She was still unsteady on her feet, completely deaf in her right ear and had lost her sense of smell.

She was significantly brain damaged and would not be able to work full-time again. Terry’s barrister, Stephen Wood, said he was genuinely remorseful.

He was re-arrested recently for breaching his bail by messaging Miss Bedford on Facebook. He was held in custody but released by magistrates.

Judge Benson said: “It must have been a very distressing experience for Miss Bedford, seeing him popping up on Facebook to wish her a Happy New Year.”

He said Miss Bedford was found “in a dreadful state” with injuries consistent with being punched with force and her throat gripped.

“Her life has been shattered by your violent conduct to her that night,” he said, adding: “You did not intend to cause her serious injury but you must bear full responsibility for what occurred to her.”