A CARLISLE woman had her eyes gouged by a violent and controlling partner who also threatened her with acid and said: "I'll murder you."

Michael Karl Celmins, 29, went on trial at the city's crown court earlier this week having denied three charges.

But on day two of the hearing in front of a jury, Celmins changed his pleas to guilty.

He admitted using controlling and coercive behaviour towards Dionne Winthrop between June and December last year; an actual bodily harm assault on her friend Sarah Clayton; and threatening Miss Clayton with a Stanley blade during a vehicle journey in Carlisle.

In an interview with police watched in court by jurors, Miss Winthrop said she and Celmins were together for seven months last year.

During this time Celmins had "slapped", "punched" and "dragged" her around, causing bruises and, on one occasion, a burst lip.

She told of one occasion when Celmins got on top of her and put his hands around her neck and mouth. "I couldn't breathe to the point my eyes were going back and I felt dizzy and I was screaming," she said.

"That was the time when he pushed my eyes into the backs of my sockets."

On a later date, she alleged, Celmins threatened her with a bottle of acid she said he kept in the house in case of intruders.

She alleged Celmins told her: "I'll murder you."

"He was tipping the acid," she claimed. "I was screaming, 'stop it, stop it, stop it'. He was going, 'I'm going to make you blind'."

Miss Winthrop said Celmins had told her: "If you say anything to anyone, you'll get what's coming to you, and your family." But police were later contacted.

Asked by the officer to describe the relationship, Miss Winthrop said: "Horrible, disgusting."

"She was to tell police," prosecutor Charlotte Kenny said, opening the trial to jurors, "that Mr Celmins fell in love with a happy, bouncy girl, as she described herself, but 'he sucked it all away'."

Celmins, of Reeth Road, Carlisle, was remanded in custody and is due to be sentenced at the crown court on July 22.