A thug who knocked his ex-partner unconscious while she made a desperate 999 call to police has been locked up.

Jesse Mayhand forced his way into the woman’s home in May last year before launching his sickening attack.

The woman was on the phone to a police call handler as the assault began.

Mayhand began punching the woman before putting her in a headlock.

During the attack, the victim lost consciousness.

The call handler stayed on the line after it fell silent and officers arrived at the scene in Chelmsford within minutes.

They found Mayhand on top of the victim and dragged him off before making the woman safe.

Police said she had sustained a number of facial injuries.

Mayhand, 28, of Hurricane Place, in Ipswich, was arrested at the scene and later charged with actual bodily harm.

He denied the charge but was found guilty after a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court in March.

On Monday, he was sentenced to 20 months in prison and was made the subject of a five-year restraining order.

Det Serg Tom Whelan-Bassett, of Essex Police’s Domestic Abuse Investigation Team, led the investigation.

He said: “I would like to pay tribute to the victim in this case for her bravery that she has shown throughout the investigation and indeed in court.

“I know these last 11 months will not have been easy but her strength and courage has been inspirational.

“Most importantly, her actions have helped to put Mayhand behind bars and even when he is released, a restraining order will be in place.

“Reporting crimes like this can be very difficult for a victim, given the sensitive nature of it.

“We have a dedicated team in place to investigate domestic crimes and bring perpetrators to justice and I would encourage anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation of abuse to come forward and speak to the police.”

He added: “I would also like to thank the call handler who remained on the line in order to guide the attending officers to the scene. Without their attendance, I have no doubt the victim would have come to further harm.”

In a statement, the victim said: “The police have been great. They helped me access the support which has been such a big help the whole way through.

“And [DS] Tom [Whelan-Bassett] has been really good for me, really helpful and helped explain everything that would happen. I’ve really appreciated his help.

“This isn’t something that happened out of thin air; there had been abuse in the relationship before but it wasn’t things that I reported.

“It was fear that stopped me doing it; would people believe me? Was I making it up in my own head?

“When you’re in that situation, you never know it is as big as it is – you minimise it. But I would definitely encourage anyone who is in the same situation as I was, to come forward and report it. Trust the police and call for help.

“I stayed in that situation thinking it would get better but, in the end, it nearly got me killed. I will remember this for the rest of my life; my last thought before I passed out was, I’m never going to see my son again. It was the most awful experience of my life.”