A man from Chippenham assaulted his girlfriend while serving a community order for beating up his ex.

Pictures of the severely swollen and bloody face of Loretta Butterworth after an attack by Toby Hayden spread across the globe in March last year.

He repeatedly punched her and assaulted two police officers who went to question him.

But he avoided a jail term, despite committing the offences while on a suspended sentence.

In the latest incident, he pushed new girlfriend Amy Weaver, 27, but she was not hurt.

Hayden, 28, a labourer, had been threatened by co-workers while doing unpaid work he had been sentenced to carry out after the assaults Chippenham magistrates heard on Thursday last week.

Defence solicitor Moses Tawo said: “The local community – Wiltshire – took exception to the sentence. It did make the national press and there was condemnation of what the press judged to be the nature of the offence.

“There have been anti-Hayden websites set up, which I have seen on Facebook.

“Effectively, his safety is not guaranteed. Most people think he’s got away with it.”

Nearly 450 people “liked” a Facebook page called Justice Against Toby Hayden Woman Beater.

Hayden, of Great Mead, pleaded guilty at the first opportunity to assaulting Amy Weaver on March 28 in Westbury, although she withdrew her complaint six weeks later.

Magistrates last week heard how, after an argument, he pushed her out the way and drove off in her car.

Michelle Hewitt, prosecuting, said: “They had been arguing. She didn’t want him to drive off in her car. He pushed her as he went past and left the house.

“Amy Weaver made a statement of withdrawal, telling police everything was true but she did not want to pursue it.”

Mr Tawo, defending, said: “He felt cornered. She was blocking his way. He pushed her out of the way just to get away.

“There were no injuries. She attended the first hearing; she wasn’t supporting the charges. He still needs a bit of help with conflict resolution.”

Mr Tawo said sentencing him to unpaid work in a group was setting him up to fail, as he would not go if he felt unsafe.

Hayden was sentenced to a 12-month community order with probation supervision and 50 hours of unpaid work.

Bench chairman Jonathan Chappell said: “I am sure probation will do what they can to find suitable work placements.”

Hayden admitted using his girlfriend’s car without insurance and not in accordance with a licence, for which he was fined £200 and got six penalty points. He was acquitted at trial of taking the car without consent.

He must also pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge. The court heard he already had £1,390 in outstanding fines, some in the hands of bailiffs.

Get out while you can - read Loretta Butterworth's advice to victims of domestic violence here