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Stressed husband lashed out in row over hen do

Hungerford family man admits committing assault


A FAMILY man from Hungerford attacked his wife in a row over a hen night.

Reading magistrates heard on Thursday, August 4, how a toxic combination of jealousy, bereavement grief and alcohol triggered a violent reaction in Kevin Mark Swain.

Helen Waite, prosecuting, said he and victim Lorna Howard-Swain had been together for nine years, had been married for six years and had children together.

She added: “Since the turn of the year they have been having problems and she believes it stems from the death of his grandparents.

“They raised him and he has been greatly affected by their passing.”

Then, in June, Mrs Howard-Swain went on a hen night with friends to Magaluf on the Spanish island of Majorca, the court heard.

Ms Waite said the couple were having dinner at their home in Penny Farthing Close when Mr Swain “started an argument about her mother and, as these things do, the argument moved on to the hen do”.

She added: “There was an argument going on in front of the children so she moved upstairs into the bedroom. He followed her.

“She was sitting on the floor. He punched the wardrobe, then leant down and punched her.

“Then he kicked her.

“She was crying; her husband was stopping her leaving the room and she describes him as being right in her face.”

Ms Waite told magistrates: “She went back down stairs and sat on the sofa; he came down and sat at the opposite end.

“She describes him as still being angry.

“She asked him to leave and he refused.”

The court heard Mrs Howard-Swain later told police: “He stood up in front of me and slapped me around the face.”

Ms Waite told magistrates: “She texted a friend to get some help.

“He pulled her by the hair and continued shouting and got it into his mind that on the hen do she had cheated on him. She hadn’t.

“She also describes him grabbing her by her arms.

“He was just holding her and continuing with the verbal side of the issue.

“It would appear Mr Swain then took his frustration out on the TV that the kids were watching.”

A friend of Mrs Howard-Swain’s then arrived with her partner and tried to calm the situation while Mrs Howard-Swain grabbed the children and went to a neighbour’s house, the court heard.

Mrs Howard-Swain reportedly told police: ‘This is not the man I love – he needs to get help’.”

Ms Waite concluded: “This has happened in her own home, where she should be safest – and at the hands of the man she should be able to trust the most.”

Mr Swain admitted committing assault by beating on June 15.

He has no previous convictions and Stephen Collins, defending, said: “Mr Swain behaved appallingly on that evening.

“He doesn’t seek to excuse it all.

“He was under a huge amount of stress – watching his grandparents dying. It’s bottled up and bottled up, and a couple of drinks and… there you go. But it’s a breath of fresh air for someone to admit what they have done.”

He added: “Mrs Swain doesn’t support this prosecution.

“She just wants her husband to get the appropriate help he needs. He needs to do right by his wife and his children and he’s going to do that.

“I hope your worships will see this is an isolated incident, one that won’t be repeated because of the steps he’s taking.”

Mr Swain told magistrates he had organised a meeting with a counsellor and said the medication prescribed by his GP was helping.

Magistrates made Mr Swain subject to a six-month community order with five-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

In addition, he was ordered to pay £50 costs plus a statutory surcharge of £85.

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Article comments

  • Tommy

    24/08/2016 - 09:09

    We all have to deal with bereavement's, & stresses & strains of some sort or other from time to time, it's called life. It certainly doesn't excuse beating up a mother when the children are present, this could stay with them for the rest of their lives & might even make them feel this is the way they should behave as well !