A 35-YEAR-old woman had her arm broken by her husband - when she already had her leg in plaster following an earlier injury.
David James Higgins, 41, had used an item of exercise equipment to strike wife Emma, the mother of his two teenage children, Mold Crown Court was told on Friday.
He hit her to the plastered leg two or three times and then -as she put her arms above her head to protect herself - he struck her to the arms about six times.
But he received a suspended prison sentence after the court heard how the victim wanted him back so that they could live as a family once more.
Higgins, of Victoria Road in Saltney, admitted a wounding charge at an earlier hearing, and received a 36 week prison sentence, suspended for two years.
He was also ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work, and he was placed on supervision for six months.
Judge John Rogers QC told him: “I have to deal with you for assaulting your wife by striking her repeatedly to the arm with a piece of exercise equipment.
“The force of your blows caused a fracture to one of the forearm bones.”
The judge said that the offence was made much more serious because it was committed in the presence of their two teenage children.
“A prison sentence is therefore inevitable,” he said.
Judge Rogers added that there were, however, important pieces of mitigation.
He had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, when he knew that his wife had made a retraction statement.
It was clear that he did regret what he had done, he was a man of good character, and the judge said that he had to bear in mind that a period of custody would result in his sons and wife being separated from him.
Elizabeth Bell, prosecuting, said that at about 3pm on December 20, both the defendant and his wife had been drinking.
She answered a knock on the door to someone selling smoke alarms and the defendant appeared at the top of the stairs and told her to get rid of them.
Mrs Bell said that she did so and then went to lie on the bed, watching television, her leg being in plaster at the time because of a broken foot. She used crutches.
The defendant shouted at her, lunged towards her and picked up a piece of exercise equipment which he used to strike her on the leg which was plastered on three or four occasions.
She then held her arms above her head to protect herself and he struck her to the arms about six times.
The victim was found to have a broken bone in her right forearm but made a retraction statement the following day.
In a victim impact statement, she spoke of missing him, wanting him back, and she said she believed that he had not wanted to hurt her.
Higgins had no previous convictions but had been cautioned for assaulting his father in law previously by pushing him.
Paul Smith, defending, said that the defendant was the carer for one of his sons.
It was clearly an ugly domestic incident and there was little he could say about that, he explained.
But he stressed that the weapon used was made of lightweight aluminium.
The victim had told how she missed him very much, she loved him to bits and she and the children wanted him back.
Christmas had been weird without him, she explained in a statement.
“I truly believe that he did not intend to hurt me,” she said.
He had been very stressed and she did not think that he knew what he was doing at the time.
The look on his face afterwards was one of “what have I done?”
Although the incident was horrible, it had taught them both how to deal with each other, she said, and claimed that she sometimes wound him up.
She had no concern about him assaulting her again and said she believed that they could move on as a family.
“I believe that he has been punished enough,” she said.
Prison would not help the family and she bore no malice for the assault upon her, she explained.
Mr Smith said that the defendant had been separated from his family since before Christmas and he had been living at the home of his parents.
Following the incident, he had realised that alcohol had become an issue and he had tackled that.
“He knows that nothing like this can ever happen again and that it could have been much worse than it was,” said Mr Smith.