A NEWSAGENT from Wirral who assaulted his cancer-suffering wife and son faces 'a bleak future' after he has been left homeless and jobless.
Until this week James Julian Cranshaw, 52, ran Mr News in Neston, but since he was charged with common assault on wife Linda and grown-up son Simon his 'world has disintegrated'.
He entered guilty pleas to the two charges when he appeared before Chester, Ellesmere Port & Neston magistrates on Tuesday and was sentenced to a six-month community rehabilitation order - the new name for probation.
Cranshaw was also ordered to pay £25 costs and £50 compensation to each of his victims.
Magistrates heard the former shop owner's life had changed dramatically in the past 12 months since he had turned to drink when his wife was diagnosed with lung cancer.
John Heath, defending, said alcohol played a big part in the September 9 assault which happened at the family home above the shop in Liverpool Road.
Outlining the case, prosecutor John Barguss said Cranshaw was a man of previous good character who had been married for 33 years.
'On that night Mrs Cranshaw returned home from bingo and found her husband to be in a drunk state,' he said. 'There was a verbal altercation at the time the assault upon her occurred. He slapped her with an open hand across the face and punched her in the chest.'
Mr Barguss said Cranshaw accused his wife of moving his glasses and called her a 'cow' and a 'bitch' before the assault took place.
He said: 'Their son Simon, who is 28, said he witnessed the altercation between his parents and saw his father punch his mother in the chest.
'He tried to restrain his father and as a result was headbutted several times on the forehead, causing pain and swelling.'
Mr Heath told the bench Cranshaw has begun to face up to his alcohol problem since the assault.
'He is very ashamed and embarrassed that the matter has had to come before the court. He has lost his good character,' he said.
Magistrates heard Cranshaw started drinking when his wife was diagnosed with lung cancer.
'His wife recovered from lung cancer, but five days ago it was rediagnosed and that is a pretty shattering experience for both her and him,' he added.
The court heard Cranshaw's business has now closed, leaving him with no job and no home and said Mrs Cranshaw has now started divorce proceedings, adding to his problems.
Mr Heath said: 'At the time of the incident the business was still active but it is insolvent and has been closed down in the last week.
'The bailiffs are expected to arrive later today or tomorrow.
'In the last week his wife has instructed solicitors to petition for divorce.'
He said Cranshaw had been to the job centre to enquire about benefits and was told he should apply for incapacity benefit.
'He was diagnosed by those who recommended that course of action as being incapable of holding down employment at the moment,' said Mr Heath.
'The future is bleak. The prospect is that when he leaves here the accommodation he formerly occupied with his wife is not going to be available to him.'