Thornton, 31 Tweed Street, Grangemouth, appeared from custody at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday and admitted the assault he committed in River Street, Bainsford on July 3 last year.
The court heard Thornton had been in a relationship with the woman for four years.
Procurator fiscal depute Jamie Roy said: “It was 5.30pm and the complainer returned to her flat. The accused was already inside. An argument broke out between the two of them in relation to content on his phone.
“The accused then said he was leaving and started to pack up his belongings. The complainer was throwing his clothes about and the accused then pushed her against the bedroom wall.
“He received a phone call and then left.”
Thornton returned around half-an-hour later to get more of his possessions and became violent with his ex partner once more.
“The accused grabbed her by the throat and applied pressure,” said Mr Roy. “They both fell to the floor and the complainer began to shout for help, banging on the floor. Neighbours could hear her shouting ‘leave me alone’.
“A neighbour took her into her home and could see she was shaking and terrified. She also had marks on her neck. Police were called and found the accused sitting on the steps outside the address.”
Gordon Addison, defence solicitor, said: “This was something that arose from an argument and it wasn’t one way traffic – he lost his temper.”
Sheriff Derek Livingston wondered aloud: “If there was no social media the courts would probably be emptier.”
Taking into account Thornton’s lack of previous offending, Sheriff Livingston placed him on a supervised community payback order for six months with the condition he complete 250 hours unpaid work in nine months and paid his former partner £500 compensation.