Wife-attacker spared jail

A MAN who punched his wife twice and pushed a 16-year-old girl down a flight of stairs has been spared jail.Stephen Butler, 33, from Tennyson Close, Woodbridge, will be electronically tagged for three months and will have to be in his house between 7pm and 7am every day.

A MAN who punched his wife twice and pushed a 16-year-old girl down a flight of stairs has been spared jail.

Stephen Butler, 33, from Tennyson Close, Woodbridge, will be electronically tagged for three months and will have to be in his house between 7pm and 7am every day.

He appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to two charges of assault by beating.

The court heard how a row took place between Butler and his wife of 11 years, Caroline.

The argument started at 3.45pm on Saturday, May 17 in a bedroom at Tennyson Close.

Saqib Rauf, prosecuting, said: "She says he was shouting at her and as she tried to get away from him, he pulled her off the bed and she banged her head on the floor.

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"When she tried to call 999, he took the phone from her and punched her twice in the face."

A 16-year-old girl, who had also been in the house, came into the room and was pushed in the face. She was later pushed again and this caused her to fall down a flight of stairs.

Butler, who had been at a pub earlier that day, was later arrested.

The magistrates' bench was shown pictures of the injuries that Mrs Butler sustained when she was hit in the face.

John Hughes, mitigating, stressed that Butler had shown "extreme remorse" for the incidents.

Mr Hughes said: "Mr Butler has said he is ashamed of the incident and links it to his drinking problems and the death of his mother.

"He is very aware that he has allowed drink to take over his life and this caused serious damage to his relationship.

"It is very clear that his wife is seeking divorce proceedings and there is no likelihood of any reconciliation.

"He says to me that he is not a violent man and the relationship was breaking down badly. He turned to drink and he lashed out."

Butler was ordered to pay £200 compensation to his wife and £75 to the 16-year-old girl. He also has to pay £60 court costs and is subject to a three-month curfew. This means Butler will have to stay inside his house every night between 7pm and 7am until Wednesday, October 8.

In passing the sentence, Matthew March, the bench chairman, said: "No one is more aware than you that this was a serious assault, however, we accept this was out of character.

"This is a serious punishment and will restrict your liberty in a serious way."

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