Thaxted man attacks wife for taking up too much space in bed

A Thaxted man has been given a suspended sentence for attacking his wife in bed

A Thaxted man has been given a suspended sentence for attacking his wife in bed - Credit: Archant

A Thaxted man who attacked his wife after claiming she was taking up too much space in their bed has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard how Cheryl Dunning woke to find her husband, Stuart, 50, hitting her and telling her she had taken up too much room.

As a result of that incident, coupled with two other attacks in the space of two days last month, Mrs Dunning, of Magdalen Green, Thaxted, reported her husband to the police.

Dunning pleaded guilty to three charges of assault by beating today (Friday, September 16) and the magistrates imposed a three-month jail sentence, suspended for a year.

They also ordered him to attend a course on building a better relationship, as well as pay a £115 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

Chair of the bench David Williams told Dunning: “We’ve heard a description of a profound series of attacks over 24 hours and you also pulled her hair and her finger, causing a bruise. There have been 11 domestic call-outs.

“It was a sustained nature of attacks, exacerbated by drink while on a community order for assault on the same lady. It’s your last opportunity to sort out these problems.”

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Prosecutor Harshika Da Silva told the court: “They have been married for 20 years, having been together for 30 years. On August 25, he pulled her arm across her chest causing a bruise.

“Next morning, she was woken by him hitting her and saying she was taking too much room in the bed and later the same day, in the afternoon, she asked him to pass her the phone. He pulled her arm across her chest with force.”

Dunning, who had previous convictions - one involving a similar offence for which he was still on a community order, said: “While I accept my guilt, I’m not happy about it.

“There are still alcohol problems which need addressing, my alcohol state is the big problem.”