A drunken man burgled a house in Bovingdon after an angry confrontation with his girlfriend at her nearby flat.

The 45-year-old broke a court order – imposed 8 days earlier – when he shouted abuse at the woman at her flat.

A neighbour heard him calling her a ‘c…’ and a ‘bitch’, St Albans Crown Court heard Friday 29th January.

Prosecutor Unyime Davies said the police were called, but the man had left. They noticed a reddening to her left cheek, but she said it had not been caused by him.

After leaving her flat he broke into a stranger’s home in the High Street. The owner returned to the 3 bedroom house at twenty to five in the evening to see the defendant in his lounge.

The man ran outside and called the police. The burglar, who had stolen an £1,000 engagement ring, a mini IPad Air and two Dell laptops, was arrested nearby and the property was recovered.

The Hemel Hempstead man pleaded guilty to burglary on 24th November last year and breaching a restraining order that had been imposed on 16th November in which he had been told not to intimidate, harass or alarm his girlfriend.

The court was told that from 3 January 2014 there had been 30 incidents in which the police were involved with the couple.

Andrew Kerry, defending, said that his client had not been in trouble with the law before 2014. He said he had been taking steps to deal with his alcohol problems.

The burglary was totally of out character and he had written a letter of apology to the victim, he said.

Judge Stephen Warner jailed him for 10 months – 6 months for the burglary and 4 for breaching the order.

He told him: “You disregarded a restraining order put in place to protect your partner. You were swearing, shouting and abusive. Domestic violence is ugly offending and unacceptable.”

The Restraining Order will remain in place indefinitely.