A THUG who launched a nasty drunken assault on his girlfriend while spitting at her and calling her a snake has been jailed for six months.

Ryan Guntrip had been out boozing but returned to his partner of 18 months at the home they shared and asked for permission to use her iPhone.

He then hurled it against the wall which caused it to smash.

As his girlfriend went to retrieve it, he grabbed her from behind and put his hand on her throat and began calling her names including that she was a snake.

Guntrip, 26, snorted and spat phlegm as the woman pleaded to be let go before he threw her against the window.

As she tried to hold him off, he then pushed her to the floor and struck her in the face causing her nose to bleed and a black eye.

The woman then retreated to the sofa and Guntrip repeated she was a snake and grabbed her by the throat again so she clambered over the couch to get away.

Guntrip himself then called the police but was abusive to the call handler swearing incoherently and insisting they "get the old bill round here."

He ended the call, but officers in the force control room phoned back and he put the victim on the phone to explain what happened.

Guntrip, who has previous convictions for violence, admitted criminal damage and assault causing actual bodily harm.

He was jailed at Colchester Magistrates' Court and must pay the victim £600 compensation.

The court heard he was using alcohol to cope with grief caused by the death of his mother, and was not taking prescribed medication for depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia at the time.

Representing himself, Guntrip, of Warwick Road, Clacton, said he regretted the incident which happened last month.

He said: "I struggled with how to handle my emotions and how to deal with them.

"I was going through a hard time.

"I wasn't taking my medication and I turned my life upside down.

"I am sorry to her, for me and for everyone else involved."