A thug threatened to take a toddler hostage during an attack at his ex-girlfriend's home.
Antoni Adams "jumped out" at his victim as she was leaving her house with the two-year-old at lunchtime on October 10 last year and ordered her to go back inside.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the terrified mum said the 29-year-old was "raging", appeared to be "off his face"and looked "psychotic".
The victim described Adams as being like a "lunatic" during the half hour he was in her home, in Sunderland.
Prosecutor Neil Jones told the court: "At one point he said 'if any police come I will take the bairn hostage'.
"He loomed over her and punched her once on the forehead and then again to the left ear.
"She describes feeling pain and throwing her hands up to her face in her defence.
"She was more concerned about the fact this behaviour was in front of the toddler than anything to do with herself."
The victim was left bruised as a result of the violence.
The court heard Adams, who has convictions for 76 previous offences, had was already the subject of a restraining order to keep him away from the victim and her home when he turned up.
Adams, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to common assault and two breaches of a restraining order.
The court heard he had breached the order a few weeks before the attack by turning up at his victim's home early one morning last September while she was getting ready for work.
Adams was due to be sentenced but Miss Recorder Felicity Davies ordered a report from the probation service about his suitability for a domestic violence programme.
The judge told him: "It does seem to me this is a case for a custodial sentence."
Vic Laffey, defending, said Adams has served the equivalent of a ten month prison sentence on remand and has a chance of work when released.
Adams will be sentenced on April 5.
He was remanded in custody in the meantime.