A former policeman has appeared in court after allegedly attacking his girlfriend twice as he drove on the motorway.

Matthew Essex, who previously served with West Yorkshire Police, denies five charges of assault by beating.

The alleged offences occurred between August and September this year and all involved his girlfriend.

During one of the alleged rows the 36-year-old is said to have hit the victim in the head while driving his car “like a maniac” towards Manchester Airport.

When the couple were on the motorway on another occasion, this time heading to Xscape crazy golf, he allegedly punched her five times during the journey. Both of the alleged offences occurred while the couple’s young son was in the car, Kirklees Magistrates’ Court heard.

During another alleged incident outside a sandwich shop in New Hey Road, Huddersfield, Essex is said to have ordered the victim into his car before grabbing hold of her dress and ripping it.

Essex, of College Avenue in Lindley, faces trial at the Huddersfield court on October 4.

He made his second appearance there via a prison video link and magistrates agreed to release him on conditional bail.

These conditions are that he does not contact the complainant, residence at North Church Road in London and a ban on entering Kirklees.