A Kosovan failed to turn up for probation meetings after he broke down in Germany having gone to Serbia to visit family for Christmas.

Behar Kasemi was spared jail in October after admitting breaking into his estranged wife's house in the dead of night and assaulting her.

But after hearing about the 44-year-old's car troubles on the drive back from the Balkans a judge at Swindon Crown Court spared him jail.

Kasemi, who now has British passport, was put on a community order with 50 hours of unpaid work and 40 days of rehabilitation activity requirement.

But a warrant was issued for his arrest last month when he failed to turn up at court to answer claims he had lost touch with the probation service.

He was arrested following his return to the country, having sought help to get back from the Continent, to face the allegation.

Matthew Scott, prosecuting, said despite having already completed 36 hours of the unpaid work he failed to attend on Saturday January 13.

And he said around the same time he also missed a meeting with probation where he has only managed four of the forty appointments.

Kasemi, of Lennox Drive, Walcot, admitted breaching the terms of a 24 month community order.

Adam Williams, defending, said "Around Christmas time he had gone abroad to meet some family in Serbia. His car broke down in Germany. He had to go to the consulate."

He said that his client also had mental health problems and was keen to complete the order.

Passing sentence Judge Robert Pawson said "Mr Kasemi, I remember sentencing you and I remember warning you how important it was that you comply with the probation service's requirements.

"You breached the law. I understand you have problems with your mental health. I am going, exceptionally, to impose another five hours of unpaid work.

"You have got to attend the rehabilitation activity requirement, if you don't there is a real risk you will go to custody which I don't think ultimately is in your interest."

Kasemi, who has a history of domestic violence, smashed his way into his wife's flat on Rodbourne Road in December 2016.

After confronting her about groundless fears he had that she would return to Albania with their children, aged 11 and nine, he punched her and stole his son's phone.