A MAN hit his girlfriend after falling out on the way home from the pub, a court has heard.

Thomas David Beattie, 30, of Hewitt Avenue, Kingsacre, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm when he appeared before magistrates in Hereford on February 5.

Emily Clewer, prosecuting, said Beattie and then girlfriend Bethan Parry had a few drinks while watching the rugby at Yates' bar in Commercial Road, Hereford on March 17, but went their separate ways after an argument.

The court heard Miss Parry had made her way to his parents house, where she planned to stay the night after realising she had forgotten her house keys.

Beattie later arrived at his parents' house, and the pair decided to return home together.

But the argument continued, becoming physical as they walked home.

Miss Clewer told the court that Miss Parry had attempted to yank his house keys from his pocket, but that they had become stuck in his jacket.

"He thought she was deliberately trying to rip his jacket," Ms Clewer said.

"She then looked up and saw his fist coming towards her face."

In a statement made in April, Miss Parry said she had been in excruciating pain after being hit, and had been left feeling scared about what might happen next.

She said she had not been sleeping or eating properly since, and was very nervous.

Marilena Di Vitantonio, for Beattie, said he regretted the incident, and had always accepted what he had done.

"The victim statement was made in April," Miss Di Vitantonio said.

"The complainant has since been in contact with him and there have been no further incidents."

Beattie received a 12 month community order and must carry out 40 hours unpaid work and 15 rehabilitation activity days. He was also ordered to pay £300 compensation to Miss Parry, costs of 185, and a £90 victim surcharge.