Barnstaple man attacked his wife and neighbour after Christmas drink

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

A jealous husband armed himself with two knives and attacked a neighbour’s home because he thought the man was having an affair with his estranged wife. 

Paul Brown tried to strangle his wife at their home in Barnstaple before taking a bread knife and a second blade from the kitchen and heading to the neighbour’s house. 

He accused him falsely of having an affair with his wife and confronted him after drinking heavily five days before Christmas. 

He caused £300 damage by trying to kick in the front door when the neighbour retreated inside and called the police, Exeter Crown Court was told. 

Brown, aged 45, of Litchdon Street, Barnstaple, admitted battery, possession of knives in a public place, threatening behaviour, and criminal damage and was jailed for eight months, suspended for two years by Judge Peter Johnson. 

He was also sent on a Building Better Relationships course and ordered to do six days of rehabilitation activities and pay £650 costs and compensation. 

The judge also made a five-year restraining order banning contact with Brown’s wife and forbidding him from returning to her home. 

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Holly Gilbery, prosecuting, said Brown was visiting his estranged wife on the night of December 20 and they had both been drinking before an argument broke out. 

He started jabbing a knife into his own neck and then put his hands around his wife’s throat after she knocked it out of his hand. 

She could not breath as he held her over the sink in the kitchen but she fought him off by scratching his face. He grabbed her again and was strangling her on the floor when a boy who was in the house intervened and told him to stop. 

His wife fled while Brown armed himself with a bread knife and a kitchen knife and went to a neighbour’s house to accuse him of an affair. 

Herc Ashworth, defending, said Brown suffers from anxiety and depression and was taken into hospital on Christmas Day because of concerns over his welfare. 

He has a steady job and accommodation but has debts of £7,000 which have arisen in part from him paying maintenance to his wife and children. 

He accepts he lost his temper and behaved appallingly and now accepts his relationship with his wife is over. 

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