Woman ‘feared for sight’ after attack by estranged husband

York Crown Court
York Crown Court

A Scarborough man pressed his thumb into his estranged wife’s eye during an argument, causing her to fear for her sight, a court heard.

A Scarborough man pressed his thumb into his estranged wife’s eye during an argument, causing her to fear for her sight, a court heard.

John Tindall, 29, punched his wife six times in the face as the argument ranged throughout the house, lifted her off the ground by her throat, twisted her feet in a “bizarre” attempt to remove her shoes as he pinned her to a bed and then pressed his thumb into her eye with force.

The court heard his wife had been at home with a friend and their respective sons when her drunken husband turned up in a rage, ranting and foaming at the mouth.

Tindall, who now lives with a girlfriend and her family in Station Road, Cloughton, appeared before the court for sentencing, having previously admitted four charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm – two on his estranged wife and two on her friend – and one of criminal damage.

Helen Wheatley, prosecuting at York Crown Court, told how the assaults took place at the former matrimonial home in Overdale, Eastfield, on May 4 this year, after Tindall arrived angry at a text message sent by his wife about his failure to turn up to see his son.

The court heard the children had had a “ringside” seat to the events as they unfolded.

As the assaults on her friend started, the other woman attempted to intervene, but Tindall retaliated by trying to push her over a first floor bannister, lifting her feet off the floor as he forced her against it.

The defendant’s mother was summoned to the house to try and coax her son out but he pushed past her, slapping his wife’s friend in the face, before the melee spilled out onto the street with his terrified wife standing between her friend and defendant.

Police were called but Tindall retreated into the house and began throwing things about, smashing a TV with bottle of vodka.

In a police interview Tindall told officers he had drunk five cans of cider, seven pints of beer and several vodka shots before getting a taxi to former matrimonial home. As a result he could not remember everything, but accepted that witnesses would not lie.

Taryn Turner, mitigating, who said that the two days on remand had been “chastening and sobering” for her client, told the earlier hearing that Tindall was normally a very different man from the “animal” he was on the night of the offences.

She told how the couple had separated 12 months ago after eight years of marriage and that Tindall had had trouble accepting it, realising now that he has a drink problem and seeking help for it. Mrs Turner said that Tindall was well thought of by his employer, although it was not known whether he would lose his job or not if he was to be jailed – something which would have a severe effect on his ability to pay maintenance to his wife and son.

Adding that Tindall was “truly ashamed, very frightened and anxious about the predicament he finds himself in”, Mrs Turner said that the injuries to the two women – scratches and bruising – could have been far more serious.

However, she said it was conceded by her client that the events must have been very frightening for them.