Husband whipped wife and threatened to electrocute her after discovering affair

A husband repeatedly punched his wife and threatened to electrocute her after discovering she was having an affair.

Gerald Brown, 59, subjected his partner to the terrifying ordeal after going to a New Year’s Eve party in 2018.

He had learned about his wife’s extramarital activities on Boxing Day, it was said, before alternating “between hostility and affection”.

But Brown read messages between the mum-of-four and her new man prior to the party days later and started drinking, reports the Liverpool Echo.

Liverpool crown court heard that, when the pair then returned home, Brown threw the unnamed mum-of-four to the floor and hit her.

He also “whipped” her with a belt, warned he’d kill her with a knife, said he would do the same to their dogs and attacked one pet.

Brown, of Wood Street, Litherland, always denied carrying out any attack on his frightened wife.

But he was found guilty of assault causing actual bodily harm after a trial.

Martine Snowdon, prosecuting, said photos showed the injuries she suffered during the “sustained assault”.

Judge Robert Trevor-Jones told Brown: “The background to this assault was of course the discovery of your wife’s affair, during the late part of Boxing Day 2018.

“I accept that after 30 years of marriage and with no obvious dispute or estrangement involved, that will have come as a devastating shock to you.”

He said Brown “reacted as might be expected” with “distress and anger” and demanded to know the full details.

But his wife didn’t want to disclose them, which he said “inflamed” matters as far as Brown was concerned.

The trial heard she admitted to the affair after her husband became suspicious about her putting a lock on her phone, and when she refused to unlock it, he dropped the device in a fish tank.

The judge said Brown then summoned their adult children to their home, and showing his “self-centred attitude”, humiliated his wife by exposing her affair in their presence.

Judge Trevor-Jones said over the next few days Brown “alternated between hostility and affection” during his perhaps “understandable sense of confusion”.

He said Brown suggested they go for a day out to Southport, before they stayed at a hotel in Lytham St Annes, then had a night away in Harrogate.

But during this time Brown continued to question her about the affair and used “abusive and demeaning” words towards his wife.

The couple went as planned to a New Year’s Eve party, but beforehand Brown put his wife’s SIM card in his phone.

Judge Trevor-Jones said Brown read messages between his wife and her new man and spent the evening drinking.

When they got home, he threw her to the floor and hit her, and when she pleaded “why?”, replied “you’re a s**g” and smacked her to the head.

The jury heard he got a knife and told her he was going to kill her and to look at him, so he was the last person she saw before she died, before threatening to kill their dogs and attacking one of them.

She made him stop and Brown dragged her upstairs, punched her, returned with a knife and said he would kill her and then himself.

The trial heard he then whipped the back of her legs with a belt and put it around her neck, as she said how “sorry” she was.

Judge Trevor-Jones said Brown picked up a bedside table lamp and was “threatening to electrocute her with that” by smashing it and putting it “in her mouth”.

He said: “It was obviously a very chilling and frightening situation and no doubt terrifying as far as she was concerned”.

The judge said Brown made an attempt to hang himself, but this “came to nothing”.

He said Brown then prevented his wife from leaving until the morning, when they were due to collect their grandson.

The victim said she would drive because he had drunk too much but then locked the doors of the car and drove to her daughter’s house.

Judge Trevor-Jones said the victim rang 999 “while cowering in her daughter’s bedroom”.

Ms Snowdon said she had declined to make a victim personal statement.

Sarah Holt, defending, said during the incident Brown tried to harm himself, adding “that’s been something of an ongoing theme since”, and he had now “lost everything”.

Ms Holt added: “The marriage has ended, the divorce has gone through, there’s been no further incidents at all.

“The relationship with his children has broken down, irretrievably with at least two of the children, possibly with all four of them. He’s lost his home and may still lose his employment.”

Judge Trevor-Jones said he had read a pre-sentence report and told Brown: “You remain in denial about what you did.”

He said Brown hadn’t accepted the extent of the attack and felt aggrieved about “the division of matrimonial assets”.

The judge said the attack was aggravated because it happened in his victim’s home, which she was “forced to flee”.

He accepted mitigating features included his lack of previous violence and ill health, but said a prison term was the only appropriate punishment as he jailed Brown for 12 months.