Jail for attack on wife

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A MAN who beat his wife has gone to jail despite a Doncaster judge being told she had forgiven him and wanted him back.

But Gary Frank Balmforth, who received a total of 15 months’ imprisonment, was told the offences were too serious because he had a previous conviction for domestic violence.

The 39-year-old had been with his wife, Denise, about two years when they split up last autumn but on December 13 they went to a party together and both had been drinking, said Brian Outhwaite, prosecuting at Doncaster Crown Court.

They began a heated argument and Mrs Balmforth demanded her house keys but she was struck on the head about six times before her husband, holding a beer bottle, shouted: “I’m going to smash this in your face.”

Balmforth, of Britton Street, Mexborough, then threw the bottle at her back, where it hit her shoulders, before he ran away.

Mrs Balmforth sustained a long scratch to her face but no serious injuries.

Her husband was arrested two days later but as soon as he was released from the police station he started drinking and phoned her to say: “If I get sent down for this, when I get out I’ll kill you.”

He was re-arrested after a short struggle with police officers and when he appeared in court pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm and intimidation of a witness.

Mr Outhwaite said Balmforth’s criminal record showed an assault in 2008 on a former partner.

Kevin Jones, defending, asked the court to suspend the inevitable prison sentence because the injuries were relatively minor.

“He is now back with Denise Balmforth and her wish is that he be punished in a way so that he can resume their relationship. She has supported his return to the matrimonial home while on bail.

“It’s clear he is addressing his alcohol problems and for the last month he has not been drinking at all.”

Judge Jacqueline Davies said: “Any offence of domestic violence is serious, but it is particularly concerning because you have a previous conviction for domestic violence so it cannot be said you were behaving out of character. It is also serious because you perpetuated the threat to Mrs Balmforth.”

The defendant received nine months for the assault and a further six months for the intimidation.