Reading Magistrates' Court: Thatcham couple sentenced for savage attack on former daughter-in-law
A COUPLE have been sentenced for launching a savage attack on their former daughter-in-law.
Victim Donna Worthy was grabbed round the throat and repeatedly knocked to the floor, sustaining multiple injuries.
Her attackers, Colin Worthy, aged 59, and Heather Worthy, aged 68, had denied committing assault by beating in Thatcham on Monday, January 11.
But the court did not believe their story and they were both convicted following a trial.
On Friday, the pair, who live in Medway Close, Thatcham, appeared for sentencing.
Ben May, prosecuting, said Donna Worthy had gone to collect her children from their grandparents’ home when an argument ensued and Heather Worthy “launched herself” at her former daughter-in-law, “putting her hands around her throat and digging her nails in, causing injury”.
Mr Worthy then joined in, repeatedly striking Donna Worthy in the face and knocking her to the floor three times, said Mr May, while both hurled verbal abuse at her.
She eventually managed to escape to her car, the court heard.
Magistrates were shown photographs of the numerous injuries Donna Worthy sustained all over her face, neck and body.
Presiding magistrate Paul Wassell remarked: “Those photographs have us wondering why this was only charged as an assault by beating.”
In a victim impact statement, Donna Worthy told magistrates she was scarred on her ankle and left breast and added: “This has affected me more than I thought it would. I was aching all over and covered in bruises. Getting out of my vehicle is very painful.
“I felt suicidal; I couldn’t get out of bed and was signed off work...I still cry every day since the incident. It’s heightened my anxiety and I worry what might happen if I was to bump into them.
“I have nightmares almost every night, normally where Colin is hitting me. I’m worried they won’t let me get away with going to the police about their actions.”
Heather Worthy, who has worked for Vodafone and for Sovereign Housing, has no previous convictions.
Mr Worthy, a building surveyor, does have previous convictions but they date almost 40 years.
He told the court: “I’m not the person being portrayed here today.”
Magistrates told Jan Smith, defending Heather Worthy, that they were minded to go along with the recommendations in a pre-sentence report prepared by the probation service and she consequently offered no mitigation on behalf of her client.
Both defendants were made subject to a 12-month community order.
Each was ordered to pay £387.50 costs, plus a statutory victim services surcharge of £95.
Mr Worthy was required to complete 40 hours unpaid community work.
Finally, both Mr and Mrs Worthy were made subject to a two-year restraining order preventing them from contacting Donna Worthy, either directly or indirectly.