Corey Stevens took the woman’s money, restricted her communication with family and friends and would put her down with cruel names.
But his behaviour deteriorated and he turned physical, slapping, punching, kicking and even spitting at her, Leeds Crown Court was told.
Prosecutor Lily Wildman said the pair had been in an “on/off” relationship for around eight years but were separated after Stevens assaulted her when she was 18 weeks pregnant. He had received a community order for the attack.
The pair later reconciled and moved into together, but it turned sour again. Miss Wildman said: “He delighted in making her distressed. He became incredibly manipulative and controlling.”
She said the 21-year-old had no job so would take the woman’s money to fund his own lifestyle. The conflict came to a head in late December last year when he grabbed her phone from her during an argument when she tried to call her mother.
He then pinned her down on the sofa and put his forearm across her throat, which left her struggling to breathe. He only relented when she dug her nails into him. On another occasion he slapped her when she returned home late from the doctors’ surgery, before kicking her and spitting at her.
Then on January 14 this year, they got into another argument over “missing crisps”, Miss Wildman said. He verbally abused her before demanding she give him her phone. He then began kicking her before leaving.
She rang the police and Stevens was arrested, but he denied he was violent, saying she had made up the allegations.
He was held on remand and continued to deny a charge of coercive control and ABH. He changed his plea to guilty during the trial and was released until his sentence this week. He has five convictions for eight previous offences.
Mitigating, John Bottomley said Stevens, of Carleton View, Wakefield, had already spent 145 days in custody at HMP Doncaster and had been living in a hostel since he was granted bail, so had his “liberty restricted”.
He said: “He is an ideal candidate for a suspended sentence and rehabilitation. He is clearly a young man who is significantly immature.
"His guilty plea is his best mitigating factor. He does not seek to minimise his behaviour and fully accepts the way he acted towards the complainant.”
Judge Ray Singh told him: “You are no stranger to these courts, you have appeared in the past. You chose to take this matter to trial. I accept now that you are extremely remorseful but it was despicable behaviour towards her. You abused her not only physically but with your comments.”
He told Stevens that because of his late switch to guilty pleas, he was unable to give him enough credit to bring his sentence down to a length that could be suspended, and so he was jailed for 27 months.