Wife’s plea spares alcoholic from time inside — (Derby Evening Telegraph)

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Derby Evening Telegraph

Monday, May 10, 2004

An alcoholic who behaved “outrageously” towards his wife has not been sent to prison because she wanted him to get help. David Spencer (43) turned on Edwina Spencer at their home in Silver Lane, Elvaston,when he was drunk on January 21, Derby Crown Court heard yesterday.

He was on medication for his drink problem and taking anti-depressants when he insisted she returned to their bedroom. Mrs Spencer was sleeping in their two daughters’ bedroom because he had become “rather erratic”. Clive Stockwell, prosecuting, said: “The defendant –no doubt in drink – began swallowing his tablets. He started to make advances towards his wife. She resisted and he became abusive, calling her fat and frigid.” Spencer took more tablets and refused to let his wife leave the room, causing her great fright and distress, the court heard.

He eventually calmed down, positioning himself with pillows at the top of the stairs. The couple,whose children are 12 and four, was now getting divorced, the court heard. But Mrs Spencer, who wrote a “moving” letter to the court, did not feel prison was the answer. Recorder Patrick Thomas QC put Spencer, who admitted affray, on a two-year community rehabilitation order. He told him:“You’re a thoroughly decent, highly intelligent man with a great deal to offer the world.” He said Spencer, now of Lea Road, Lea Bridge, near Matlock, had acted outrageously and terrified his wife, but nobody was harmed.