A NEW Year’s Eve engagement lasted only a couple of hours before it ended with a row in which the prospective groom laid out his fiancée.

Sean Farmer from Kingsteignton had just agreed to marry girlfriend Abigail Bird during a drunken night out at the Golden Lion when they had a petty argument about her getting a drink of water for a friend.

It resulted in him punching her in the mouth so hard that she began 2022 in the casualty department of Torbay Hospital having 15 stitches in a cut lip and him in a police cell.

Friends had been buying the couple drinks all night and he was so drunk when he attacked her that he had no memory of what had happened.

 The attack ended the short-lived engagement and Exeter Crown Court was told that Farmer now has a new partner.

 Farmer, aged 24, of Priscott Way, Kingsteignton, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and was jailed for eight months, suspended for two years and ordered to attend a 30 session ‘Building Better Relationships’ course by Recorder Mr Don Tait.

He told him: 'Have you seen the photographs of Miss Bird. On New Year’s Eve, she ended up looking like that, distressed and with blood running out of her mouth?

'You caused serious injury to that pretty girl and you should be ashamed of yourself.

'You cannot even explain why you behaved like that because you were so drunk.'

Mr Herc Ashworth, prosecuting, said the attack happened early on New Year’s Day, 2022 and was witnessed by friends of the couple who had been celebrating with them.

He said: 'There was an argument outside the pub about miss Bird getting a drink of water for a friend. It escalated to the point where she said ‘I can’t do this any more’ and seemingly ended the relationship.

'Despite having got engaged earlier that evening, he reacted by punching her in the face, causing a nasty split lip which needed 15 stitches.'

Mr Sam Wysocki, defending, said Miss Bird had proposed to him and he had accepted and they had both been given drinks by friends.

He said: 'The evening was something of a blur. They got engaged, she proposed to him.

'They didn’t have much money at the time and they were drinking other people’s drinks. They both became extremely intoxicated.

'He has no recollection other than waking up in a police cell and having some damage to his hand.

'It was completely out of character.'