A "cocky" thug who punched a pregnant woman in the face at a house party, smiled for a selfie as he walked free from court.

Nathan Buckley, 27, pulled his face mask down to smirk on camera outside Bolton Crown Court where he avoided jail for a sickening attack.

Despite being invited to a house party by his victim, while there Buckley began acting "cocky" and "rude" towards her until he violently lashed out, the court heard.

The 27-year-old who has a criminal record for previous assaults, left his victim with a fractured cheekbone and scratched cornea by throwing his fist at her face.

In addition to the brutal bruising of an eight-week pregnant woman at the party in Bolton on December 22, 2018, Barkley decided to cruelly douse her in lemonade, it was heard.

In a victim statement read in court, the woman said she was "devastated" by the assault and that it ruined Christmas as she did not want her child or family to see her injuries.

Buckley pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding.

The court heard since the incident Buckley had turned his life around, by staying out of trouble, giving up drugs, repairing family relationships and getting a job.

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Judge Graeme Smith told him that the efforts he has made enabled him suspend his prison sentence.

The court was told Buckley had been using excessive amounts of cocaine and alcohol to mask mental health issues and described his arrest for the assault as a "wake-up call".

Judge Smith sentenced Buckley to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months.

He will have to undertake 100 hours of unpaid work and participate in 20 days of rehabilitation activities plus a thinking skills programme.

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