Suspended sentence for Chirk man who tried to strangle his wife in bed

Reporter:

Court Reporter

A Chirk man has received a suspended prison sentence after he tried to strangle his wife in bed before lunging at her with a knife.

But Nigel Leech ended up injuring one of his adult sons who had come to their mother’s rescue in the early hours of Bank Holiday Monday.

Leech, 53, of Cilcoed in Chirk, admitted two charges of assault at Flintshire Magistrates’ Court at Mold last Tuesday, and was said to have become paranoid and falsely believed his wife was having an affair.

He received a 26-week prison sentence suspended for two years and was placed on rehabilitation, ordered to carry out 180 hours unpaid work, and pay £85 costs and a £115 surcharge.

Leech was also banned from the family home for the next two years.

A restraining order prevents him going back to the house and he must not approach his wife or son.

District Judge Gwyn Jones said applications could be made to lift the order earlier than two years, but the court was told that in the meantime the defendant could live with his mother and brother in Station Road, Bangor-on-Dee.

The court was told there had been no violence in the relationship previously and the attack had come out of the blue.

Prosecutor Nia Lloyd said the couple had been together 33 years, been married for 19 years, and they had three children.

She said Lesley Leech told police officers how she had gone to bed with her husband as usual but he grabbed her around the throat, tightened his grip and she struggled to breathe. She bit his finger to get him to let go and screamed for help and her two adult sons came to her aid.

They managed to drag him off her and he left the bedroom but returned with a kitchen knife and lunged at her.

There was a struggle as her sons protected her and their son, Ryan, received cuts to his hands, while Mrs Leech had cuts to the hand and bruising to the throat.

In a statement, Mrs Leech had said that it was totally out of character for him – but she could honestly say that it was his intention to kill her when he attacked her. He “totally flipped”, she said.

In court it was described as “a cry for help”.

Leech was said to be genuinely remorseful and accepted responsibility, and wanted to show how much he loved her and how scared he was of losing her. A probation report said that he had four drinks that night which may have contributed to his paranoid thoughts.

Bethan Jones, defending, said Leech accepted entirely how terrified his wife and family must have been, adding: “He is extremely distressed and remorseful.”

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