A woman feared she could be killed when her rugby player boyfriend subjected her to a horrific beating.
Former North Wales Crusaders player Kenny Hughes put his foot on Lauren Burrows’ neck, repeatedly pushed his hands down her throat and strangled her.
A court heard how Hughes, 29, messaged Miss Burrows at 2am on July 27, but the message was not received until 4am.
He told her to get a taxi to his house, and when she got there he turned on her.
He threw her on the bed and then stopped her from leaving.
Each time he stuck his hands down her throat and strangled her, she couldn’t breathe and felt herself blacking out, the Liverpool Echo reports .
Hughes, who was let go by the Wrexham team after the incident, punched and slapped 24-year-old Ms Burrows after they both returned home from separate nights out.
He called her “pathetic” as he strangled and choked her, and insisted she should “say sorry to him,” the court in Liverpool heard.
The abuse only ended when she managed to text her friend, sending a video clip about what had happened.
The court heard how Hughes then suddenly changed, starting to cry and telling Ms Burrows that he loved her, and even punching himself in the face.
The mum revealed photos of her injuries after the attack.
Hughes, who at the time played as a hooker for North Wales Crusaders in Betfred League 1, appeared at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court last Thursday.
He was convicted of actual bodily harm following a trial and given a suspended sentence.
The chairman of the magistrates’ bench described Hughes, of Kenyons Lane North in Haydock, as “very fortunate” that he didn’t go to prison.
Ms Burrows said she believed she “could have been killed”.
She said: “I have not been able to sleep and wake up having flashbacks to the incident, sweating and struggling to breathe and in tears.
“These feelings don’t just happen at night time, they happen at any point during the day.
“Apart from being in pain and thrown around the room my face was a swollen and bruised mess.
“I work as a sales executive which means dealing with people face to face, I couldn’t bring myself to go into work even if I wanted to.
“My job is commission-based and I estimate I lost £300 to £600.”
Her victim impact statement detailed how she had suffered “problems with my throat due to the hand down my mouth”.
She added: “Along with the injuries I feel this whole thing has taken my self-confidence away.
“I lay the blame for me feeling this way firmly with Kenny Hughes.
“I have only been out socialising a couple of times since, I don’t trust anyone.
“I have been to counselling to help me deal with the trauma.
“Kenny Hughes is angry, jealous and dangerous.
“He could have killed me or seriously harmed me.”
Hughes, previously of good character, was given a 26-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.
He was also handed 300 hours of community service, ordered to pay £1,000 in compensation, costs of £620 and a victim surcharge of £122.
Chairman of the bench Brian Sweeney said he was giving the rugby player “one chance” and the “benefit of the doubt.”