Man attacked estranged wife after fearing he would be left destitute

A man unleashed a nasty attack on his estranged wife after they had separated and the pressure of a financial settlement had left him fearing he could be left destitute.

Monday, 27th March 2017, 9:54 am
Updated Monday, 27th March 2017, 1:18 pm

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Wednesday, March 22, how Paul Wakefield, 62, of St Lawrence Road, at North Wingfield, Chesterfield, threw his estranged wife onto a bed and grabbed her around the throat before she fell and hurt her shoulder.

Prosecuting solicitor Sarah Haslam said: “They had been in a 14 year marriage and she had left the marital home and moved in with friends and things had been amicable.

“The defendant said he could not give her a lump sum for a mortgage and there was no argument but there was suggested mediation and discussions about borrowing the car.

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“She was in a bedroom at a property at the time of the assault and the door opened and she presumed it was the defendant dropping off the car keys but the defendant stood on the landing and seemed strange.

“He grabbed her shoulders lifted her up and threw her and he said he wanted her dead and he put both hands around her throat and she was struggling to breath.

“He said, ‘I want you dead - you have ruined me’.

“She lifted herself off the bed and she fell backwards and suffered a shooting pain to her shoulder which she had broken before.”

The defendant told police he could recall having hands around his wife’s throat and he was very sorry but he had become stressed by the relationship breakdown and he feared he would lose his pension and be left destitute.

Wakefield, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to assault by beating after the attack on March 6.

Defence solicitor Steve Brint said the couple has a teenage child and the defendant also provides for his wife’s two adult children from a former marriage.

Mr Brint added that after the couple had separated the split had been amicable and Wakefield had offered his wife a lump sum but as he assessed his finances he realised this could reduce his pension by 50per cent.

Wakefield had also been made redundant two-and-a-half years ago, according to Mr Brint, and the family’s standard of living had changed.

Mr Brint added: “There was pressure put on him that particular day and he snapped.”

Mr Brint added that Wakefield was ashamed of what he had done and he has apologised and is seeking support to help him with his difficulties.

Magistrates adjourned the case until March 29 to consider a probation report before sentencing.