A THUG blew his entire £350 benefits cash on drugs and drink before attacking his girlfriend — in a bust-up about money.

John Cannon made a beeline for a bank machine after midnight to lift the money minutes after it landed in his account.

The 36-year-old immediately went to buy illicit substances and later spent the rest of the money on several cans of super lager before flying into a violent rage against the woman.

Greenock Sheriff Court heard how Cannon throttled her and repeatedly punched her on the head to injury on March 10.

The terrifying assault — which took place in the woman's town centre flat — sparked a 'distressed' 999 emergency call to the police.

Cannon's victim said: "John was shouting his mouth off that he'd spent £350 with me.

"He said, 'I bet I don't even see you on your payday'.

"Two minutes later he punched me on the face.

"I said things and punched him back, and then he punched me again."

The woman told the court that Cannon was jealous after she'd formed a platonic friendship with another man.

Questioned by defence lawyer Aidan Gallagher, she said: "He grabbed my throat and I grabbed his throat.

"I grabbed his throat because he was not letting go of my throat.

"I'd been trying to reassure him that I loved him.

"He was jealous of a guy I had visiting me. He was insecure."

In the 999 call played in court, the woman was heard to scream hysterically: "Help me! Help me!"

A police witness described the woman as having been 'upset and hysterical' and said that she had red marks on her face and neck.

The court was told that on being cautioned and charged Cannon shouted at his victim: "This is all your fault, ya cow, ya boot."

Giving evidence, he said: "I cashed my money and I bought drugs with it — I bought drink too.

"After she got onto her fifth can she started to bring things up from the past.

"I left and then I came back for my tobacco.

"She bounced up off the chair and started attacking me."

Under cross-examination from prosecutor Raeesa Ahmed, Cannon said: "I punched her to get her aff me and that's when she phoned the polis."

Sheriff Michael Higgins found Cannon guilty of placing his hands around his partner's neck, compressing it, repeatedly punching her to injury, behaving in a threatening or abusive manner and uttering derogatory remarks.

The sheriff told him: "I found the complainer to be a credible and reliable witness.

"The corroboration comes from the distressed nature of the 999 call.

"Your version of events is self-serving."

Cannon was out of prison on licence at the time of the offences.

Sheriff Higgins returned him to jail for the remaining 21 days of the previous sentence and imposed a further five months.

Cannon, of the Inverclyde Centre, has also been made subject to a non-harassment order preventing him from approaching or contacting the woman, or attempting to do so, in any way for a year.