Man hit wife in row over towel

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A man of 68 grabbed his wife by the throat when she confronted him about a dog’s towel that was wet and threatened to “send her to her son” who had died.

Peter Oldham and his wife, Maureen, had been married for 42 years at the time, Spalding magistrates heard.

Edward Johnson, prosecuting, told magistrates there were difficulties in the marriage and he understood a divorce was pending.

Oldham pleaded guilty to assault and magistrates adjourned sentence to November 1 for a probation report.

Magistrates heard Oldham is living away from the matrimonial home in Linnet Drive, Rippingale, and gave him bail with a condition that he must not directly contact his wife.

Mr Johnson said on September 24 Mrs Oldham went to her husband’s study, asked about the wet towel and he jumped off his chair, grabbed her by the throat and pushed her out into the hallway.

“She describes him as having a firm grip on her throat, which hurt,” he said.

He continued by shouting, swearing and punching her.

“She didn’t know how many times she was punched or which hand was used,” he said.

Oldham then pushed her down into a chair in the living room, threatened to send her to her son who had died and hurled abuse.

In a statement, Mrs Oldham said she was almost lifted off the ground while he held her by the throat and said she had a lump on the left side of her head, her head felt tight and her wrist was sore from fending off blows.

Mr Johnson said Oldham told a domestic abuse officer he “just wanted to stop her moaning”.

Solicitor Rachel Stevens, mitigating, said the first Gulf war veteran admitted he had assaulted his wife by grabbing her wrists but denied punching her.

She said: “He himself was in tears after this incident.”

He was sorry for what happened.