A privately-educated playboy who attacked his girlfriend at his luxury Thames side apartment was spared jail after magistrates heard they are still together.
Marco Nardone, 29, the son of a millionaire wine importer, dragged his girlfriend Toni Allcock by the hair and then kicked her in the stomach at his £2m Hammersmith flat.
Nardone, who was educated at £37,000-a-year Charterhouse school before a degree in physics at Imperial College London, had previously slapped Miss Allcock and grabbed her throat.
He nodded as he was sentenced to eight weeks jail, suspended for 18 months, today despite the Chair of the bench Amanda Barron describing the assault as ‘vicious, spiteful and sustained and very shocking’.
Selfie-loving Nardone was the chief executive of London-based Fling – a mobile phone app which let users send photos to strangers who could then reply.
However it went bust without making a penny after it was ‘hijacked by sexting’, the court heard.
Nardone (pictured, left, at earlier hearing and, right, today) is still with Ms Allcock
The court heard the couple are now engaged to be married and are business partners.
Describing the attack, Katie Bryan, prosecuting,said the pair became embroiled in a furious argument at 2.30am over a WhatsApp message he sent to an ex-girlfriend he was allowing to stay at the apartment when Ms Allcock was away.
Nardone had been out late that night enjoying dinner with his father Remo, 81, the owner of Enotria Winecellars and returned home drunk.
The prosecutor said Nardone ‘put his hands around’ Ms Allcock’s neck in an alcohol-fuelled rage before locking her out of his home.
She added: ‘He then slapped her across the face. Her ears are constantly ringing due to the impact. She describes being able to get to the kitchen door…he shuts the door and locks her out.
‘She then runs for the lift, banging on the button to call for the lift and to try and get help.
‘She goes down to the ground level and she runs to the lobby seeking help from security.’
The pair became embroiled in a furious argument at 2.30am over a WhatsApp message he sent to an ex-girlfriend he was allowing to stay at the apartment when Ms Allcock was away.
The court heard the couple were engaged to be married and are business partners
Nardone pleaded guilty to assaulting Ms Allcock on December 12, last year.
Nardone’s lawyer, Martin Lewis, said they would be attending counselling together.
Nardone was also ordered to attend a ‘building better relations’ rehabilitation treatment as part of his suspended sentence.
Handing the court a letter from Nardone’s therapist, Mr Lewis said: ‘The defendant has gone to seek counselling and Ms Allcock wants to join in on those counselling sessions.
‘This is a couple who hope to remain together for a long, long time. They are engaged, they work together, they are business partners, they are together twenty-four hours a day.
‘They are two very highly ambitious people, who wish to stay together. Since being caught he’s grown up and realises this has to be addressed.’
Ms Barron added: ‘[Ms Allcock] tried to escape, but you kept going and it is aggravated by you being very drunk that night and she was in her home and tried to leave. It must have been awful for her.
‘This is a pattern of behaviour and in the report she says you have slapped her in the past and grabbed her around the throat in the past. We are very concerned about her.
‘We have thought very hard about sending you to prison today. It is important you have specific domestic abuse counselling so you don’t do this again.’
Nardone must also pay £85 costs and a £115 victim surcharge within seven days. No compensation order was made in favour of Ms Allcock.
Nardone’s app Fling was backed by his father, who reportedly gave him £1.5m when he was 23 to develop the app.
The row happened at Nardone’s £2million Hammersmith flat on the banks of the Thames
Nardone was the chief executive of the app, which at its height claimed to have four million users, who sent fifty million messages.
But it was never in profit and was criticised as a forum for men to harass women with explicit nude photographs.
However, while the app struggled to turn a profit for investors, estimated to have ploughed in £17m, Nardone featured his party lifestyle on his Instagram account, which included holidays in Ibiza, fine dining at Michelin-starred restaurants and relaxing at the riverside apartment.
The company is believed to be in administration, owing twitter £120,000, Google over £45,000 and £95,000 to the taxman.
Nardone was employed for a year as a trader at Credit Suisse after leaving university before launching his own business.
Despite this Nardone started a new music company called Gig FM, boasting on facebook to have created ‘the world’s first proper Music live streaming app.’