Scarborough man is jailed as wife lies paralysed

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A 57-YEAR-OLD Scarborough man has been sent to prison for two years after hitting his wife on the head, causing her to fall and suffer life-threatening injuries.

Michael Jackson, of Carr Lane in East Ayton, appeared at York Crown Court for sentencing after pleading guilty to wounding at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court last month.

Mrs Jackson, the victim of May’s attack, could not be at the hearing because she is still being cared for at Scarborough Hospital – just over three months after the attack.

Alan Mitcheson, prosecuting, said the couple had been married for 15 years but had not lived together for all that time.

He said: “It is right that, at the time, they seemed to be enjoying a harmonious relationship.”

He said the couple had visited a local pub for a beer festival and added: “There was an argument which resulted in the defendant losing his temper, throwing the contents of his glass over Mrs Jackson, and leaving her to find her own way home.”

Mr Mitcheson told the court that Mrs Jackson was later seen by a neighbour banging on the door of her home.

He said: “There was an argument on the doorstep following which the defendant appears to have lashed out causing her to fall backwards.”

He said that as a result of the fall Mrs Jackson hit the back of her head which resulted in “life-threatening injuries”. He said: “His wife remained conscious and was bleeding from the back of her head. He sat her in the hallway.”

Mr Mitcheson said that, at the time, Mrs Jackson did not want medical help because she “did not want to make a fuss” but her condition continued to deteriorate and Jackson rang family members for help. He said: “He didn’t immediately telephone the ambulance but made a call to her sister and then her daughter.”

He said that when help arrived they called for an ambulance and Mrs Jackson was initially taken to Scarborough Hospital Accident and Emergency Department for treatment before being transferred to Hull Royal Infirmary for specialist care.

Mr Mitcheson said Jackson initially claimed his wife had fallen before deciding to “come clean” and tell the truth.

He added that Mrs Jackson has since been transferred back to Scarborough but her progress remained uncertain and she still had to be fed through a tube.

Ruth Cranidge, mitigating, said that, without any doubt, it was a “terribly tragic case” and the defendant wanted her to express his remorse for what had happened.

She read a letter from Jackson to the court which stated: “What started as an unusually good day, at the beginning of May, I committed a heinous act. I struck my wife, who is also my best friend, causing her to fall banging her head.”

In the letter Jackson wrote of the shame he had felt since the incident and the fact he had been prevented from contacting members of her family to apologise and express his “sorrow and regret” over his actions. The letter later read: “I pray every day for God to give Jean the strength to get better again.”

Miss Cranidge said: “This was a single blow to the side of the head. He intended no harm. He is genuinely remorseful – the letter was written from the heart.”

She added that the incident was out of character and Jackson had since given up alcohol because he realised it had partly caused what had happened.

Passing sentence, Judge Michael Mettyear told Jackson that the consequences of his single violent act meant that his wife was unlikely to make a substantial recovery in the foreseeable future. He said: “I have seen photos, both before and after the incident, and the difference is startling.”

Following the sentencing of Michael Jackson at York Crown Court today, Mrs Jackson’s daughter, Kristine Gilbank, said: ”This is a very sad time for all my family. My mother’s life has changed beyond all recognition. She is now paralysed on her left hand side, being tube fed and is unable to communicate effectively.

“A split second loss of control has had far reaching consequences for both sides of the family, and nothing can ever compensate for the life changing disabilities my mother now has following the incident.

“All of our lives are in turmoil as we face a very uncertain future, along with our mother. We only hope that today’s outcome will act as a deterrent to any future perpetrators of domestic violence. We would not want any other family to suffer the way we have.

“We would like to thank North Yorkshire Police for their thorough investigation and for the support given through the Family Liaison Officers.”