A woman who was kidnapped by her partner had to jump out of his moving van after he had bundled her into the front seat.

Thomas Matthew was filmed on CCTV picking up victim Joanne Rodwell in a fireman’s lift after she had told him she did not want to go with him. He then shoved her into the van, pushed her into the passenger seat, and set off.

She was able to open the passenger door as he started to accelerate away and ran to take refuge at a house nearby. She said she was convinced Matthew would have killed her if she had not escaped.

Matthew had been in a relationship with her for less than two years and hunted her down after she finished it, finding her in a pub in Exmouth where she was drinking with friends He punched a stranger she was chatting to and dragged her out with him as he was ejected by staff.

He was filmed on CCTV from the Marks and Spencer shop assaulting her and splitting her lip and he then walked her towards his van, which was parked the other end of an alleyway, as she protested that she did not want to go with him.

She was able to jump out unharmed but was so terrified by the experience that she has moved away from Exmouth and wrote an impact statement saying she is still having nightmares seven months after the ordeal.

Her trauma was compounded when she eventually got home to find that Matthew had broken into it earlier in the evening by throwing a breeze block through the front door. He then went to a bedroom and vandalised photos of her children before leaving with a wi-fi router and a laptop.

Carpenter Matthew, aged 33, formerly of Roseway, Exmouth, but now of St Thomas, Exeter, admitted kidnap, assault causing actual bodily harm, burglary, battery against pub customer William Lyford and breaching an earlier community order.

He was ordered to go on a Building Better Relationships course, do 200 hours unpaid community work, and 20 days of rehabilitation activities and to pay £2,000 compensation to Ms Rodwell and £150 to Mr Lyford by Judge Stephen Climie at Exeter Crown Court.

The Judge also made a ten year restraining order which bans any further contact with Ms Rodwell or her family and excludes him from a large area around Exmouth. He fined him £100 for breaching the earlier community order and put him on an alcohol abstinence tag for 90 days.

He told him the only reason he was not sending him straight to jail was because he has already served seven and a half months on remand, which is the equivalent of a 15 months sentence. He said a community order offered a better way to change his behaviour and thus to protect the community.

He told him: “When you have too much to drink, which seems to have been historically a fairly regular event, you get violent. People who behave like that have to go to prison, and you have been in prison.

Mr Paul Grumbar, prosecuting, said the burglary took place on the afternoon of October 1 last year when Matthew went to Mr Rodwell’s home in Green Close and smashed his way in. She was out watching rugby at a pub.

He then went in search of her, finding her shortly after midnight at the pub near Exmouth station where she was drinking with friends. He went straight up to Mr Lyford who happened to be talking to her, and punched him in the face without warning.

He grabbed her as he was being thrown out and then assaulted her as he walked her towards his van. She was heard protesting that she did not want to go with him but he ignored her and picked her up bodily and put her into the van.

She had suffered an injury to her shoulder while playing rugby and experienced pain from both the assault and being manhandled into the van but no further injury as she jumped out about 20 metres after it started moving.

Mr Grumbar said: “She said it was miraculous that she was not injured. She ran for help and was assisted by two passers-by and was taken to a flat nearby.”

Her victim personal statement said she had been with Matthew for less than two years but by the end of the relationship was ‘petrified of him’. She has moved from Exmouth and feels permanently unsafe. She is receiving counselling but still having nightmares.

She wrote: “If I had not jumped out when I did I feel he would have killed me. He had broken into my home to find me. I am terrified to think what would have happened if my children had been there. He cut their heads out of photographs of them which had been especially happy memories.”

Mr Simon Burns, defending, said Matthew has made progress while in custody and is truly sorry for his behaviour and keen to attend courses to change it.

Mr Burns said that on the night he was trying to take Ms Rodwell home because he thought she was drunk. He thought he was helping her when he put her in his van. He denies vandalising photographs of her children and says he only tore up a Get Well Soon card and from the rugby team.