Man locked up and branded a ‘coward’ for attack on wife

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A “cowardly” brute has been jailed for a savage attack on his wife at their home in Eastfield.

The victim feared for her life as Peter James Thornton, 55, punched her to the ground and kicked her several times as she screamed for help.

When she pleaded with Thornton to stop, he told her: “The only way you are getting out of here is if I slit your throat.”

The shocking attack happened on October 18 last year at the couple’s home after Thornton returned from a boozy birthday party at his friend’s home.

Rob Galley, prosecuting at York Crown Court, said Thornton had earlier phoned his wife at work, asking for a lift home, but she refused and told him their relationship was over.

When she returned home, an argument broke out and he punched her in the back of the head, with such force she was knocked to the floor.

“She curled up to try to protect herself, but Thornton kicked her six or seven times in the head,” said Mr Galley.

When she tried to dial for help, Thornton grabbed her house phone and mobile off her, damaging them in the process. She finally managed to escape when her son turned up.

Mr Galley said the victim suffered lumps and grazes to her head and arm, a swollen hand and throbbing pain to her jaw. She also suffered terrible headaches.

In a statement read out in court, the victim said she had since changed the locks on her house and was now filing for divorce.

“I’m now very tearful and nervous,” she added. “I’ve changed my routine and job to avoid him.”

Thornton appeared for sentence on Friday after pleading guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and damaging his wife’s phones.

Mr Recorder Wheeler described the attack as “horrific, nasty and cowardly”.

He told Thornton: “The only way (the victim) thought she could survive was to come up with a ploy to say she loved you.”

Thornton was jailed for 18 months and given a five-year restraining order.