THE violent past of a Bournemouth cage fighter accused of murdering a dad was laid bare in court yesterday.

Winchester Crown Court heard how Damon Wright had nine previous convictions related to violence, including trying to suffocate his pregnant partner and punching her in the stomach.

The 32-year-old, who is on trial for the murder of Kevin Wyeth, admitted in front of the jury that he has got a short fuse and that he did resort to violence when he didn’t get his own way.

On the second day that Wright gave evidence from the witness box, Prosecutor Nicholas Haggan QC listed the defendant’s previous convictions and gave some of the details relating to those convictions.

One of the convictions related to the scaffolder strangling his ex-wife until she became unconscious and then assaulting two police officers who came to her assistance.

A number of the convictions also involved Wright punching his victims in the face, something which Mr Haggan claimed Wright did to Mr Wyeth, in August last year, with such force that “the whole of the front of his face was detached from the rest of his skull”.

Cross-examining Wright, Mr Haggan also asked him about his cage fighting, to which Wright admitted that it was “extremely violent” and that he knew that it was “extremely dangerous” when someone is knocked out.

But when asked by Mr Haggan if he enjoyed inflicting pain and that’s why he takes part in cage fights, Wright said “no”.

Wright, of no fixed abode, denies murder, claiming he acted in self-defence after Mr Wyeth threw the first punch.

The trial continues.