'Big boy' badge led man to attack wife

PUBLISHED: 10:00 25 July 2011 | UPDATED: 11:21 25 July 2011

North Somerset Courthouse

North Somerset Courthouse

Archant

A MOTHER was beaten up by her husband after a picture on Facebook triggered accusations she was having an affair, a court heard.

Michael Gibbs, 44, burst into his family’s home in Chaucer Road in the early hours of the morning to wake his wife Michelle and shout ‘tell me you have had an affair’ at her.

He then launched into an attack on her, grabbing her hair, slapping her on the forehead and punching her in the face, before she was able to call the police.

It followed a discovery by Gibbs of a picture on Facebook of his wife wearing a ‘big boy’ badge on a hen party costume.

Convinced the picture backed up suspicions she was having an affair, he began drinking with friends that evening before returning home drunk at 4.30am.

At a hearing at North Somerset Courthouse in St Georges on July 14, Gibbs appeared for sentencing after pleading guilty to the May 23 assault in June.

Prosecuting, Alison Longhorn, said: “The defendant thought his wife was having an affair with another person after seeing the picture on Facebook.

“He spoke to his friends and arrived home drunk and started being very aggressive with her.”

At first, he accused Michelle of cheating on him, but she refused to talk until he calmed down.

This, however, angered him further and he continued to swear at her before grabbing her hair and slapping her on the forehead.

Later, he punched her in the face and said ‘I’m going to kill someone tonight’.

She called police and officers arrived to find her sitting on a wall outside the home.

In a statement, she told police she had been ‘terrified’. Yet, despite the attack, she suffered only grazes and bruises.

At the court hearing, the couple appeared to still be together, with Michelle sat at the back of the court watching her husband get sentenced to 120 hours of unpaid work.

Magistrates, deciding not to award compensation to Michelle, then told the couple to ‘not look back, but look forward’.

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