A violent boyfriend fractured his girlfriend's jaw in a "sustained" attack so terrifying she armed herself with a knife in self-defence.

Kirsty Dean used a kitchen knife to try and defend herself against then-partner Lee Ellis during his alcohol-fuelled assault at their Cardiff home in February 2019.

Nigel Fryer, prosecuting, said the "sustained attack" left Miss Dean scared for her own life. Cardiff Crown Court heard on Wednesday how Ellis had been drinking when he started being violent towards his partner.

In a victim impact statement read out in court Miss Dean said: "I picked up the knife but I quickly saw how this could have made it worse.

"I wanted to scare him because I wanted him to leave." She added: "It felt like the incident took forever."  Ellis hit her with such force he fractured her jaw.

During their 10-year relationship Miss Dean said she had felt pressurised into taking drugs as she was afraid what Ellis would do to her if she didn't follow his lead.

"The way he has treated me over the years made me think he was going to seriously hurt me," she added.

Since the attack Mr Fryer said Miss Dean had been left shaken and nervous and was terrified to go out on her own.

Mitigating, Paul Hewitt said Ellis had two previous convictions, neither of which involved violence. Mr Hewitt said: "He recognises his problem is not with women but with alcoholism."

Ellis, 33, is expecting a child in March with a new partner, who watched the hearing from the public gallery.

Judge Richard Williams sentenced Ellis to six years in jail for causing grievous bodily harm with intent. He had denied the charge but was convicted following a trial. Addressing the defendant Judge Williams said: "This was an unprovoked, sustained attack that took place in your home."

He added: "In my view her use of a weapon was entirely justified and lawful and a necessary consequence of your behaviour."

As he went down Ellis' partner blew him a kiss from the gallery and mouthed "I love you".

Ellis, from Theodore Avenue in Canton , will serve half of his sentence behind bars before being released on licence.

If you or someone you know has been affected by violence against women visit the Live Fear Free website or call the helpline on 0808 80 10 800.