A FREELANCE photographer hit his wife in the face as she slept, the latest in a number of ‘violent attacks’, a court heard.
Darren Thomas Roberts attacked Charlotte Roberts after they had been on a night out in Wrexham for New Year’s Eve and ‘pulled her down the stairs’ of their home before trapping her arm in a door frame.
It was revealed that Roberts, 33, had three previous convictions in 2009 and 2010 for assaults on his wife.
He was sentenced to a 120-day custodial sentence, suspended for a year, at Wrexham Magistrates Court yesterday after pleading guilty to assault on February 5.
Appearing from custody, Roberts, of Montgomery Road, Caia Park, was also given a 12-month supervision order and banned from all licensed premises for six months.
He was ordered not to contact Mrs Roberts for the next three years, unless contact is made via his parents.
He is also prevented from going to Montgomery Road for three years.
Matthew Ellis, prosecuting, said the couple had gone into Wrexham town centre on December 31, drinking two pitchers of ciders between them at a bingo hall between 7pm and 10pm before walking to Chequers wine bar on Church Street.
The pair became separated in the bar and Mrs Roberts opted to get a taxi back to their home. On her return Roberts was not in the house.
She put a key under the doormat for him and locked the doors before falling asleep under a quilt on the front room sofa.
She woke up with her face hurting and nose bleeding, with Roberts standing over her accusing her of “sleeping with a member of the door staff” at a Wrexham bar.
She went to go upstairs to get her mobile phone but Roberts pulled her back down the stairs before she attempted to make a call on the landline, which she found had been disconnected by her husband.
The front door was locked and she tried to get out of the house through the back door, but Roberts shut the door as she was about to escape, “slamming it on her arm”, causing bruising to the arm.
She eventually managed to get out and ran towards the town centre, with Roberts shouting at her from behind: ‘Hurry up and die’. Mrs Roberts took shelter at Tesco on Salop Road, where she told staff about her ordeal and they called the police.
Following his arrest, Roberts told police his wife had drunk too much on their night out and was “being silly” in the bar before they separated.
He told police she had fallen down the stairs rather than being dragged down by him and said she had tried to kick him.
Euros Jones, defending, said Roberts accepted he needed help with his “drinking problems” and that his relationship with his wife “was over”.
Summing up, district judge Gwyn Jones, said: “This matter has caused me great concern and there has been a history of violent domestic attacks between you and your now ex-partner.
“There have been several previous assaults on your wife and you appear to have significant trust issues.
“These trust issues are completely of your own making and when you are intoxicated you become a person who does not trust anybody but yourself.”
District judge Jones added: “I would have no problem giving you an immediate custodial sentence today but I’m prepared to see whether a suspended sentence will have a desired effect on you.”
In addition to the suspended sentence and restraining orders, Roberts was ordered to take part in an integrated domestic abuse programme (IDAP) and must pay £85 costs and an £80 victim surcharge.