South Shields man attacked wife twice in nine days - court hears upsetting domestic abuse case

An ex-squaddie turned-painter and decorator slapped his wife’s face with a dog poo covered slipper during a second domestic attack in nine days.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 5:23 pm

James Cattanach, 51, of Madras Street, Simonside, South Shields, had been boozing when he grabbed the filthy footwear and whacked her, a court heard.

Moments earlier, he had taken her by the throat at their then family home after she objected to his plans around their domestic arrangements.

The assault, on Saturday, December 19, left her swollen and bruised and feeling like she “had been dragged through a hedge”.

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The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Prosecutor Becky Slade told magistrates in South Tyneside Cattanach also attacked her without provocation on Thursday, December 10.

He has now been hit with a restraining order to stay away from his estranged partner and must undertake rehabilitation work.

Ms Slade said: “They had been in a relationship for 17 years and married for 14 years. She believes that the defendant has issues with alcohol.

“At around 11pm on December 10, he came back into the sitting room where she was watching television.

“He started to punch her head, ear, arm and leg. She tried to help herself.

“It stopped when she pushed him back onto the settee and he fell asleep. She was left with bruises, and lumps to her head.”

Of the second attack, she added: “They were on the sofa and discussing Christmas presents.

“He left the room to get a drink and came back and was aggressive towards her. She was telling him to calm down.

“He grabbed her throat, she screamed. The defendant then went out of the room but stormed back, holding a slipper in his hand.

“He whacked it quite hard, smearing puppy poo across her left cheek. She was very upset. The incident lasted about twenty minutes.”

In a victim statement read to the court, the woman described her former partner as “screwed up”, adding: “I despise him.”

Peter Thubron, defending, Cattanach, a former Army transport regiment trooper, said: “This is a marriage which has broken up, which is sad to see.

“Relationships like this don’t just switch off like a light bulb, it takes a lot of time. There were issues between them.

“He is sorry about what happened and does want to improve.”

Cattanach, who pleaded guilty to two charges of assault by beating, was handed a 24-month community order.

It requires him to undertake 20 days of rehabilitation work with the Probation Service.

He must also take part in the Building Better Relationships programme and do 40 hours of unpaid work.

A restraining order was imposed which prohibits him from contacting the woman, and he must not go to any place he knows her to be.

Cattanach must also pay her £100 compensation, and there was a £95 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

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