A STONEMASON who pushed his girlfriend from a moving van has finally been jailed, after continuing to contact her when he was banned from doing so.

Nigel Martin was last year given a suspended sentence and made the subject of a restraining order banning him from seeing his victim.

But the 58-year-old twice contacted her, the second time while he was on bail for the first breach of the injunction.

Now he has been jailed for 15 months and a new restraining order has been imposed prohibiting him from contacting the woman for three years.

Martin pushed his then girlfriend from his van as they drove from Trowbridge towards Corsham after going to buy Mothers Day cards in March 2016.

Lucy Taylor, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court the defendant became abusive towards her and elbowed her in the face and punched her.

Fearing what may happen next the woman undid her seatbelt and she said he then pushed her from the moving vehicle.

Miss Taylor said the motorist behind saw her come out head first, as if she had been pushed rather than jumping.

Martin continued driving while the witness tended the woman's wounds and took her to hospital for treatment.

In January last year, after admitting actual bodily harm but insisting the victim jumped for fear of attack rather than was pushed, a judge gave him a chance.

But in September he met the woman, though prosecutors accepted she first contacted him.

He was arrested and released on bail after customer and friend Viscount Monckton put up a surety, but in February he tracked down the woman, claiming he had heard she was unwell.

Miss Taylor said he bought her alcohol and cigarettes and told her not to tell anyone that they had been in touch.

Martin, of Elm Hayes, Corsham, pleaded guilty to two counts of breaking the terms of a restraining order.

Simon Goodman, defending, said it was important to note that there had been no new violence in the breaches.

He said that had he been facing the court for just the first breach, where she approached him, then he may not be facing jail.

But having done it again while on bail meant it was almost inevitable he go inside, though he would be benefitted by help in society.

Jailing him Judge Robert Pawson said “You were preying on her vulnerability: it was manipulative on your behalf.

“You were in a relationship with your victim for about eight years and there was, I understand, a history of threatening behaviour and violence which in March 2016 led to an argument.

“You were verbally abusive to her, calling her various names, you struck her at least twice, you pushed her out of a moving vehicle.”