Bully avoids jail after daughter's plea

A BULLY who hit his wife because she wasn't wearing her wedding ring has escaped an immediate jail term - after a last minute plea by his daughter. Bryan Sparkes' 20-year-old daughter begged the judge at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court to spare her dad jail after the court heard how he had grabbed her mum, Julie, at her home in Turner Road, Ipswich, and then become abusive at Ipswich Hospital where she was receiving treatment.

A BULLY who hit his wife because she wasn't wearing her wedding ring has escaped an immediate jail term - after a last minute plea by his daughter.

Bryan Sparkes' 20-year-old daughter begged the judge at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court to spare her dad jail after the court heard how he had grabbed her mum, Julie, at her home in Turner Road, Ipswich, and then become abusive at Ipswich Hospital where she was receiving treatment.

Roger Stewart, mitigating, said: “Mr Sparkes is a big man. They were going out to a family party. She had agreed earlier in the day she would wear the wedding ring and when they were going out of the house she wasn't actually wearing it.

“He grabbed hold of her arm and pulled her back. It was harmful and it was hurtful and he's very, very sorry about that.”

The couple, who have been together for 32 years and have two daughters, then went to the party before Mrs Sparkes took herself to Ipswich Hospital and Sparkes, 44, followed her.

By the time he got to the hospital Sparkes, who runs his own business and has been living with his mother since the attack on June 23, had drunk at least six bottles of beer as well as some spirits.

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Gareth Davies, prosecuting, said: “He became extremely aggressive at the hospital to the extent that the hospital staff locked him out of the room while they looked after his wife.”

Sparkes pleaded guilty to assault by beating and using threatening behaviour and also admitted breaking a suspended sentence that was imposed in July last year after another assault on his wife.

After hearing Sparkes' daughter plea to keep him from jail and reading letters from both Sparkes' daughters as well as his wife, deputy district judge Sandib Kainth said he would have one more chance.

Judge Kainth said: “You have no one to blame but yourself. In my view you are a bully and you are taking advantage of someone very very vulnerable.

“For your wife to say she's to blame and not you speaks volumes. It shows you have complete control over her and she's in fear.

“Domestic violence is no longer to be tolerated.”

He gave Sparkes a 12 week sentence for the assault and 11 weeks for the threatening behaviour, to run concurrently, but both suspended for two years.

He also ordered a two year supervision period including a domestic abuse programme, a six month exclusion period from the matrimonial home, and £55 in costs.

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