Wife driven to self harm, court told — (Chester Chronicle)

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Chester Chronicle

By Chester Chronicle

A CHESTER woman was driven to self harm and suicide attempts by her over-protective husband, a court has heard.

Fiona Kathleen Taylor, who bought a flat on Kingsway with her husband, admitted to a series of mental health problems, including self harm, drug addiction, alcoholism and bulimia.

She told the court that she used to self harm after rowing with her husband to make herself seem more vulnerable to him and calm him down.

‘He was accusing me of ridiculous things, I never used to fight back. I used to harm myself, it would make him look after me,’ Mrs Taylor told the court.

Simon David Taylor, 39, of High-field Road, Blacon, appeared at Chester Magistrates Court charged with assaulting his wife of two months, and breaking her mobile phone on February 3 at their home in Kingsway, Chester.

She needed seven stitches to a cut on her left eye after an argument with her husband over a phone call from her former boyfriend. She also suffered a cut and bruised lip, bruising on her eye where Mr Taylor punched her and bruising to her neck, chest and forehead.

The court was told that Taylor smashed his wife’s mobile phone against the wall after she received the call.

Christopher Moss, prosecuting, said that on February 3 the couple had visited the Dee Miller pub for a drink and a fight began when they returned home.

‘They had been arguing all night,’ said Mr Moss. ‘It escalated when they returned home and she received a phone call from her former boyfriend.’

Mrs Taylor said: ‘The phone rang, I don’t know who it was – it was a withheld number. He was saying it was my ex-boyfriend. He was getting more wound up and had me by the throat on the floor.

‘He had his hands around my neck, and I wanted to get up. I was scared. Nobody likes to be held down against their will,’ she said.

Mrs Taylor said that after her husband broke her mobile phone she ran towards the door.

‘I felt a shove from behind, and fell against the door. I felt dizzy and dazed and staggered towards the duvet.

‘I lifted my head up and there was a big pile of blood on the duvet.’

Mrs Taylor claims that her husband then left the flat, she went to a public phone box outside where she phoned the police. Her husband was later arrested by police at the end of the street.

Taylor told the court that his wife’s phone had rung while she was in the kitchen. He told the former boyfriend not to ring again and went to the bathroom.

He came out to find her on the phone to him again, and threw it against the wall.

He claimed that Mrs Taylor had tried to stand up, but slipped on the duvet which was on a tiled floor and cut her head on a divide as she fell.

Mr Taylor said: ‘She was curled up in a ball on the duvet – I tried to lift her up by the arm to get her to hospital, but she wouldn’t move.

‘I got her up and put her coat on and she said she wanted her mum. I went outside to the phone box to call her mum but it was police calls only so I went to the one at the end of the street. I was on the phone to her mum when the police came,’ he said.

Defending, Guy Dodd said that immediately after the incident Mrs Taylor did not want to prosecute and discharged herself from the Countess of Chester Hospital to go and stay with her former boyfriend, Mick, in Manchester.

Mr Dodd questioned the reliability of the defendant’s injuries saying: ‘She could have caused some or all of the injuries to herself. The photos of her injuries were taken two days after the incident.

‘She is also a severe alcoholic and this can cloud one’s judgement and memories.’

He told the court that during the marriage Mrs Taylor had been on a cocktail of prescription drugs which included librium, prozac, beta blockers and diazepam and had used these to overdose on four occasions.

He said that Taylor had rushed his wife to hospital on every occasion, possibly saving her life and that he had tried everything possible to help with her personal problems.

‘I took her to hospital, I looked after her and tried to help her. I didn’t hurt her. I loved her. I still love her.’

Taylor was found guilty of assault causing actual bodily harm. Chairman of the bench Judith Highley told Taylor: ‘The court accepts there was an argument and that injuries were sustained. Because of their earlier drinking there is some doubt about how they were caused.’

She told Taylor that he was guilty of punching his wife but not of the further injuries to her which were caused accidentally.

Taylor was given a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £75 compensation.