A TERRIFIED little girl hid in a cupboard while an irate man punched her mother unconscious at her home in Bradford, a court heard.

Andrew Nicholls lost his temper with his former girlfriend in a dispute over the decorating. He had been out for a meal with family members instead of buying a paste table as promised, prosecutor Alisha Kaye said.

Nicholls, 43, of West Park Street, Dewsbury, was jailed for 18 months after he was convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on January 12.

Miss Kaye told Bradford Crown Court on Thursday that Nicholls had been in a short relationship with the woman but it had ended.

He offered to buy the paste table to help with the decorating but failed to return with it that afternoon.

When she texted him to ask where he was, he sent back a picture of a meal saying he was dining with family members.

After he returned to her home later that day, an argument broke out in the presence of the woman’s young daughter.

Nicholls punched the woman in the face, knocking her out and then kicking her.

She grabbed her phone and ran screaming into the street while the little girl hid in a cupboard in the living room and then ran upstairs to her room.

The woman suffered two black eyes, a chipped tooth and a lump to her head.

When he was arrested and interviewed, Nicholls claimed he was acting in self-defence after the woman attacked him.

In her victim personal statement, the woman said she had been left shocked and frightened. She suffered with anxiety and was unable to attend a job interview for a post she really wanted because she had two black eyes.

She had a panic alarm fitted at her home after the attack.

Nicholls had previous convictions for assault and burglary, the court was told.

In mitigation it was stated that he had no convictions for similar offences.

Judge David Hatton QC said it was a “disgusting and disgraceful” attack on a woman in her own home in the presence of a young child.

The youngster had hidden in a cupboard and been left traumatised.

“It was a sustained attack including punches to the head and kicks to the head,” the judge said.

A 10-year restraining order bans Nicholls from contacting the woman in any way or going within a mile radius of her home address.