Company boss is in court after assault

A JAIL sentence hangs over a company director who attacked his estranged wife in the garden of their former home.

John Potts had been drinking in Ripley before the assault outside the address in Upper Hartshay, Heage.

His wife stated that his drink problem had come to the fore again and she moved out a fortnight before the incident.

But she became angry when she saw him chatting to a woman in a pub, Chesterfield magistrates heard.

They went outside to talk. “He became abusive and she left,” said Fernando Rodrigues, prosecuting. Mrs Potts decided to visit the matrimonial home while he was out to collect some belongings, but he turned up soon after she arrived.

“She hid in bushes, intending to leave when he entered the house, but he noticed something and shouted: ‘Who’s there?’ and she came out.

“He was angry and he pushed her with both hands, dragged her towards a gate, punched her to the head and pulled her hair,” said Mr Rodrigues.

The court heard Potts, 50, tripped up his wife, pushed her into a bramble bush, pulled her hair again and struck her on the temple.

She then ran to her car and drove home before reporting the incident at Ripley police station, showing officers clumps of hair he had pulled from her head.

Mrs Potts, who suffered injuries to her head and knees, told police: “I have never been so frightened as I was tonight. I have never seen John so mad and vicious. It felt like he was constantly raining blows on me. He didn’t let up. I thought he would kill me.”

Potts, now of Chapel Lane, Ravenshead, Nottinghamshire, had denied the September 1 assault but changed his plea to guilty before the planned trial.

He received a 16-week jail term, suspended for a year, an 8pm to 6am curfew for 12 weeks and a one-year probation supervision order.

The Bench also imposed a one-year restraining order, banning him from contacting Mrs Potts and ordered him to pay her £100 compensation, with £250 court costs.

His solicitor, David Horne, said the relationship was breaking down at the time of the offence and divorce proceedings were in progress.

“He has some issues with alcohol and he has been trying to deal with them since this offence. He regrets what happened and he fully accepts he went too far,” said Mr Horne.