Toby Hayden avoided a jail sentence for punching his girlfriend in the face after magistrates heard he had medical and psychological problems.
When police called at his house later that night Hayden, 27, who had drunk several shots of tequilla, at least eight pints and three cans of lager, spat in the face of one officer and tried to gouge out the eye of another.
After being shown the injuries he had inflicted on her, Hayden, of Station Road, Christian Malford, said: “I didn’t know I was that much of an animal.”
Hayden, who admitted three assault charges, was sentenced by Chippenham magistrates on Friday.
He and Miss Butterworth, 22, had been in a relationship for two years and lived together in Christian Malford since October.
Pauline Lambert, prosecuting, said that on February 9 the couple returned to Chippenham from a day out in Bath.
While walking along St Paul Street, Hayden pushed her against a wall and hit her, full force, on her nose.
“It felt like my face exploded, like an air bag had gone off,” she said.
A mother and daughter heard her screaming ‘please help me’ and saw him holding her with one hand and punching her with the other.
Afterwards she could not open her right eye and her face was swollen for weeks.
Moses Tawo, defending, said Hayden had lost his job as a highways maintenance worker because of the charge.
He said. “There has been genuine remorse.
“His way of explanation is his alcohol abuse. It isn’t domestic violence, it is a random assault. He would come back from prison full of problems and there would be a vicious circle.
“Mr Hayden is a very sick man medically and psychologically and he needs help.”
Hayden, already on an eight-week suspended jail sentence after an incident in Bristol, was given a 18-month community order with 200 hours unpaid work and was ordered to attend an anger management course.
He was banned from contacting Miss Butterworth for two years and ordered to pay her £750 compensation, plus £250 to PC Andrew Aves and £100 to PC Joel Bunting.
After the hearing Miss Butterworth said the attack came after Hayden got angry because he could not get money from a cashpoint.
She said: “When he ran out of money he went to the cash point. I think the ATM came up saying insufficient funds, he growled in anger.
“I linked his arm so we could walk home, I didn’t want to carry on the evening when he seemed upset. The next thing I knew, he had me against a 3ft wall.”
She has moved back in with her mum, Angela, in Coulston Road, Corsham, and has started a job as a customer services assistant at Wilkinsons in Chippenham.
Miss Butterworth had hoped for a baby with Hayden but now never wants to see him again. She said: “I thought he was my best friend.
“We had such a close bond, he was the only man I’ve been able to just be myself with. He told me he wanted to marry me.
“So many people tried to warn me about him but I take people as I find them. Now he’s got to live every day looking in the eyes of people who know what he’s done.”