A man who throttled a woman, stripped her and dragged her along the floor by her hair at a North Yorkshire racing stables has been jailed.

Stablehand Luke Moretti, now 24, also hit the woman during the ordeal in a caravan at Bryan Smart Racing, said Callum McNicholas, prosecuting.

The court heard that at one point he knelt on top of her as she lay on the ground saying: “I’m stronger than you, I’m bigger than you, I can do what I want when I want.”

He pushed her naked out of the caravan and stopped her taking her clothes with her before pulling her back screaming for help into the caravan, said Mr McNicholas.

He then told her to clean the dirt on the floor left from him dragging her along it, and she vacuumed it in a bid to calm him down, the court heard.

He continued to assault her, Mr McNicholas told York Crown Court.

In a personal statement, the woman said she now suffers from panic attacks and horrific nightmares. Her mental health had deteriorated and she had spent nearly a week in hospital.

The Recorder of York, Judge Sean Morris, told Moretti: “People who behave like this, virtually torturing a young girl for hours on end must go to prison.”

Earlier he said that the assault had included Moretti “gratuitously degrading” the victim.

He jailed Moretti for 23 months. Moretti, now of Anniesdale Avenue, Stepps, Glasgow, pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm.

Mr McNicholas said Moretti had been drinking before the incident and before arriving at the caravan had bought more alcohol. When the two reached the caravan, he had insulted the woman and she had been scared of making the situation worse.

He had then begun the assault during which he had confiscated her mobile phone.

He later told her his behaviour was “her fault” and gave her phone back.

The stables owner was told about Moretti's behaviour and he was ejected from the yard near Thirsk.

For Moretti, Nick Peacock said he was "very well thought of" and handed in references, saying one of them was from Bryan Smart Racing.

He also handed in a letter from Moretti, whom he said, had an offer of a job that he could start in a couple of weeks.

Moretti was immature for his age and accepted he had issues with his mental health.

His parents believed he had left the family home too early when he went to the British Horse Racing Institute.

At the time of the incident he “didn’t understand” the impact his behaviour had. He had also been drinking and taking drugs.

He had since stopped drinking and taking drugs.