An “intelligent” man hit a woman in front of a young child and told the lad “I’m giving her a hug” as he put her in a chokehold then ripped out chunks of her hair.
Robert Shand launched the brutal attack on the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, at an address in Carnoustie last November.
Shand first banged the woman’s head off a wall before putting her in a headlock – causing her to struggle to breathe.
This took place in front of an “extremely upset” young boy.
But brutal Shand told the lad: “I’m giving her a hug.”
Fiscal depute Saima Rasheed told Dundee Sheriff Court that Shand then left the house – but returned and restarted the attack.
At one point he wrenched a phone from her hand as she spoke to a 999 operator before pulling “several clumps” of hair out of her head.
Shand, 35, of Ravensby Road, Carnoustie, pleaded guilty on indictment.
Defence advocate Neil Beardmore said: “This is an intelligent, articulate, responsible man who holds a degree in computer network engineering and was studying for a masters, though didn’t complete it.
“I don’t understand what on earth he has got himself into. It seems alcohol and a bad relationship have been his downfall.”
Sheriff Alastair Carmichael deferred sentence until next month for a report on Shand’s suitability for an electronic tag.
He said he was leaving open “all options”.
“You have had community sentences before and they don’t seem to have made a difference.”