A man with an “unenviable history of violence” grabbed hold of his ex-partner’s hair and pushed her to the ground with force during an alcohol-fuelled row.

Matthew Murray screamed and pushed the visibly upset woman “extremely hard” in a residential street in the north Wales seaside town of Colwyn Bay, Welshpool Magistrates’ Court heard.

The 39-year-old, who lives in a flat above a Welshpool pub, was given a 24-month community order to address his alcohol issues after pleading guilty to assault by beating when he appeared in court on Tuesday, January 18.

The court heard that Murray is at a “sea change in his life” and in a “period of stability” since moving to Welshpool and has not been in trouble with the police.

Prosecutor Justin Espie said witnesses heard a “lot of shouting” at around 7.30pm on May 23, 2021 and believed Murray and his victim were “intoxicated and swaying in demeanour”.

Police found Murray at a property which was registered to a silver Vauxhall Astra car that was parked in the street where the assault took place.

“He refused to open the door and appeared agitated, upset and angry,” Mr Espie said. “He told officers to ‘come at me’ then pushed them to the floor.”

David Jones, defending, told the court that Murray accepted full responsibility for what happened that evening and that he was at fault.

“He has a vague recollection of the incident and accepts drinking to excess was an issue. The victim had also drunk that day but there is no blame on the victim.

“He accepts that the argument would not have happened had he not drank, and he does regret his actions.

“A pre-sentence report alludes to a toxic relationship, which has now ended, and he doesn’t know where the victim is. He now lives in Welshpool and is in a new relationship. He wants to address his alcohol issues and he’s stayed out of trouble since May.

“He’s at a significant sea change in his life since moving to Welshpool in September last year. Living above a pub is probably not the most ideal place but his mother runs the pub, and she is a very good influence on him. He has reduced his alcohol intake significantly and is in full-time employment.

“He is now in a period of stability.”

Chair of the magistrates’ bench, Cynthia McVey, told Murray that he has an “unenviable history with quite a lot of violence”.

“However, you have turned a corner. I hope you can appreciate that probation is not there as a punishment but there to help you. Don’t let it stop your progress otherwise you will go inside for a considerable period of time. Let this be a line and no more. It’s time to grow up.”

Murray, of High Street, Welshpool, was handed a 24-month community order including 30 rehabilitation days to build better relationships and address his alcohol issues.

He was also ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work and pay a £95 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

The magistrates decided not to award the victim compensation because the relationship has ended.