RAF man attacked wife and friend

York Crown Court
York Crown Court

A SCARBOROUGH man commended by the Queen for his work within the RAF appeared in disgrace before a court for assaulting two women.

Neville Bird, who after leaving the armed forces joined up as a prison officer at a Yorkshire high security jail, appeared for sentencing before York crown Court after having previously admitted a charge of affray.

Anthony Kelbrick, prosecuting, told how during a break with his wife, 10-year-old son and a family friend at the Primrose Valley Caravan Park, Bird had an argument with the boy over his refusal to stop watching television.

Bird, 45, of Rutland Terrace, had been drinking home-made wine outside their holiday home on June 2 last year, when the argument started and, when his wife returned she became embroiled in the disagreement and was slapped several times across the face by her husband.

A family friend then returned and was punched so hard in the face by Bird that her cheekbone was smashed in two places.

Despite her injuries, the woman tried to prevent any further assault on Bird’s wife and herself by fending their attacker off with a broom.

Taryn Turner, mitigating, presented the court with testimonials and certificates, adding that her client had had to leave the prison service due to stress.

This had left him as a house-husband while his wife went out to work full-time as an adult carer.

Mrs Turner said that the result of this “very unfortunate” incident was that Bird and his wife had separated, although it was his understanding and wish that once all matters are resolved they would try to make another go of their marriage.

Judge Guy Kearl QC told Bird that he “simply could not go round punching females, whether it is your wife or not”.

He added that the injuries could not be ignored and warranted a prison sentence, but because of the guilty plea, good character and other mitigating features, that sentence could be suspended.

Bird, who is still unemployed, was sentenced to 12 months custody, suspended for two years and placed under supervision for two years.

He was also ordered to attend a domestic violence programme and complete 150 hours of unpaid work.