A man, who twice bit into the fingers of his girlfriend, growling like a dog as he did so, has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Alvin Worrell of Bushey Grove Road, Bushey, attacked his girlfriend after grabbing the steering wheel of the car she was driving along the M1 near Watford, causing it to veer across onto the hard shoulder.

The vehicle struck the kerb and suffered a punctured tyre.

It was then that Worrell bit her on the middle finger of her right hand.

Then, after she had got out of the car to try to change the tyre, the 33-year-old bit her again, this time on her ring finger of the same hand.

At St Albans Crown Court today, Worrell was found not guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent but guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm.

He was acquitted of assault by beating following an incident when it had been alleged he had spat at her full in the face during a heated row.

During the trial the jury heard how Worrell and his girlfriend, Miss Zoe Page, had been in a relationship that at first was a happy one but, by November of last year, she wanted to end it as it began to deteriorate because of his controlling and possessive ways.

Miss Page told the court how, a week later on November 9 last year, she and Mr Worrell had been driving back to Watford from a shopping trip to St Albans when they began arguing just after she had got on the M1 at junction 6.

She said in the exchange of words she told him: "I don't want to be with you any more."

Miss Page said, with that, the defendant told her: "If I can't be with you, no one else can" and, without warning, he "yanked" down on the steering wheel as she drove, causing her car to go onto the hard shoulder and strike the kerb and puncture the tyre.

She said he then grabbed her right hand and bit her hard on the middle finger.

"He was growling like a dog as he did it," she told the jury.

Miss Page told the court she managed to get out of the car and was thinking about changing the wheel when the defendant got out from the passenger side and pushed her to the ground.

She said he then bit her on the ring finger of her right hand.

The jury heard how she then fled the scene running up the motorway until she found herself by a school in Mount Pleasant Lane, where a young woman walking her dog came to her aid and took her into her home.

The jury were told that in the attack Miss Page had suffered damage to the tendons of her fingers caused by the defendant's biting.

In addition, she suffered an infection that spread up the hand to her elbow and had to undergo two lots of surgery at The Royal Free Hospital where she remained for two days.

She said a week before, the defendant had spat at her full in the face during a row when they were in Vicarage Road.

Recorder Tim Clark jailed Worrell for 30 months.