Kirkby man who assaulted wife has been spared jail

Latest court news
Latest court news

A Kirkby man who assaulted his wife while she held their young daughter in her arms has been spared an immediate prison sentence.

James Couzens followed his wife up the stairs of her Mansfield Woodhouse home, and hit her in the back, on the afternoon of February 16.

Prosecutor Daniel Church described how he followed her into a bedroom, shouting, grabbed her by the neck and rammed her head into the wall "with a lot of force."

"She was screaming for him to stop," he said. "She collapsed to the floor."

His wife managed to text her mum, who called the police, and when officers arrived Couzens was heard to say: "Here we go again. It's all a lot of rubbish."

In interview, he denied hitting her, and claimed he had pinned her to the wall in self-defence.

In a statement, his wife said she was "scared of what he is capable of", and that Couzens had "ground me down over the last six years."

"He wouldn't let me speak to anyone. I have lost all contact with people I used to see regularly."

Mark Stock, mitigating, said the incident happened at the "very acrimonious" end of an eight-year relationship.

"Magistrates at the trial felt that frustration had gottten the better of him and he had behaved in a way that was totally inappropriate," he said.

He said Couzens had no record of previous convictions for violence and had behaved out of character.

Probation officer Raqia Bano said Couzens "doesn't understand how his behaviour could have impacted on the children" and thought his was wife "was being unfaithful."

Couzens, 40, of Diamond Avenue, was convicted of the assault after a trial on May 20.

On Thursday, he was sentenced to 18 weeks, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to carry out five rehabilitation days and 31 days of the Building Better Relationships course.

He was ordered to pay £150 compensation, £620 court costs and a £115 government surcharge. A two year restraining order was imposed.

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