Former council official in court over wife assault


Court. - Credit: Archant

A FORMER high-ranking North Somerset Council official has been spared jail this week after assaulting his wife.

James Foster, aged 41, worked under the authority’s chief executive Mike Jackson in the corporate services department, as an officer for strategic policy, marketing and communications.

Foster, of Clifton Road in Weston, resigned his role earlier this month ahead of his appearance at Taunton Magistrates Court on Tuesday where he pleaded guilty to assault by beating against Joanne Foster.

The incident occurred on September 17 in Redcliffe Street, Cheddar, where Foster pulled his wife across the bed and held onto her head while in the bathroom.

Prosecutor Edward Counsell told the court: “The pre-sentence report sets out the events by Mrs Foster and the level of fear and intimidation she felt.

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“There were no injuries to the victim which warrant compensation.”

Foster is living in Weston with a friend, while his wife remains at the family home in Cheddar, and is now looking for other work.

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The court also heard Foster was working in the same department as his wife and will ‘pick up the pieces and try to rebuild his life’.

Chair magistrate Peter Reed said: “The court always takes incidents of assault in a domestic setting very seriously.

“It was aggravated because there were children in the house, although there is a dispute about whether they heard what was going on.

“We accept the fact that you have no significant previous court record.”

Foster was handed an 18-month community order, with a supervision requirement for 18 months.

He was also ordered to complete a building better relationships programme, and has to pay a victim surcharge of £60 and £85 in court costs.

A spokesman for North Somerset Council confirmed Foster had resigned from his role within the authority.

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