Husband grabbed estranged wife’s hair and threatened her with kitchen knife over alleged affair

Teesside Crown Court
Teesside Crown Court

A HUSBAND who threatened his estranged wife with a knife after he accused her of having an affair has been ‘given a chance’ by a crown court judge.

Stuart Officer, 40, and his wife Wendy had been married for 22 years when they separated two years ago.

She stayed in the marital home in Hartlepool with their two teenage children and there had been a number of incidents when the police were called to the property, usually when alcohol was involved.

Prosecutor Jenny Haigh told Teesside Crown Court that Mrs Officer was lying on her bed watching TV at 7.55pm on November 30 last year when he walked into the bedroom.

He grabbed her by the hair and he accused her of having a relationship with somebody else, which she denied.

He pulled a kitchen knife from his sock and he snatched a phone from her saying that she would be dead before the police arrived.

She managed to escape from the house and she fled to her parents’ home a few doors away.

Police arrested him soon afterwards and he still had the phone.

Officer said he had gone to the family home in Greenwood Road, Hartlepool, after he had been assaulted by his wife in an earlier incident.

Miss Haigh said that Officer agreed having had a knife, but he said that it was a butter knife which he had taken from her kitchen. He said he had intended to harm himself with it and he had harmed himself previously.

Martin Scarborough, defending, said Officer had a history of self harm and that he had produced the knife intending that his wife used it to harm him.

Officer claimed his wife had assaulted him earlier. He went for a drink and then he went around to the house.

Mr Scarborough said that Officer clearly still had some issues with alcohol, but he had cut down on his drinking.

The judge told him he was going to give him a chance.

Judge George Moorhouse said: “I have read the pre-sentence report and you obviously have had mental health problems over the years and problems with alcohol.

“When you are in drink you get out of hand, well I am going to give you a chance.”

Officer, of Richardson Street, Hartlepoool, was given a 12-month community order with supervision, an alcohol treatment programme and an indefinite restraining order banning him from contacting his wife after he pleaded guilty to causing an affray.