Newbury News Ltd. Print-Digital-Social

Unfaithful deacon attacked by betrayed wife

Reverend 'locked himself in bedroom' as spurned spouse raged

John Garvey


01635 886628

THE spurned wife of a church deacon went berserk with jealousy when she discovered his guilty secret... he had been having an affair for years.

The shattering revelation prompted Linda Foley to physically attack her husband of 50 years, Rev John Foley, in a blind fury, Reading magistrates heard.

Mr Foley is a foundation governor at St Finian’s Primary School in Cold Ash, chairman of Churches Together in Burghfield, Sulhamstead and Mortimer and the deacon of the West Berkshire Pastoral Area for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth.

Andrew Storch, defending, said Mrs Foley discovered her husband’s infidelity when she stopped taking heavy medication, which had left her “quiet and submissive... almost comatose”.

As soon as she did so, “the veil was lifted from her eyes” and she realised what had been going on beneath her own roof.

Sixty-eight-year-old Mrs Foley had denied assaulting Mr Foley at the home they shared in Spring Lane in Mortimer Common on January 28.

But she was convicted following a trial.

At a sentencing hearing on Friday, March 16, Anne Sawyer-Brandish, prosecuting, told magistrates: “There were seven incidents which required police assistance where the aggrieved was attacked and physically assaulted.

“It’s fair to say he has been having an affair, which caused problems between the two of them.”

During an argument Mrs Foley attacked her husband, causing him a cut ear, a black eye, a cut to the bridge of the nose and a bite to his arm.

Ms Sawyer-Brandish said: “She was in a rage.

“She threatened to gouge his eyes out and wanted to kill him.

“Mr Foley locked himself in the bedroom.”

Mr Storch said his client had been taking medication for post-traumatic stress disorder sustained during an abusive childhood, which left her in a submissive and unquestioning state.

When she stopped taking it, he said, “she saw what was happening in her house – her husband had been having an affair for the last few years”.

Mr Storch said Mrs Foley, a mother of four and a grandmother, was arrested and spent time in a bail hostel with drug dealers while awaiting trial.

He added: “Her husband has got the house now – but he has paid for this little flat, which is something.

“She is happy the relationship is over – but he keeps coming round and wants to take her out next week to celebrate an anniversary.

“It’s an unusual thing for the defence to say, but we’d be happy with a restraining order.

“Then she could call the police if he persists.”

A probation officer said Mrs Foley married her husband aged 18 and “finds herself on her own for the first time, aged 68”.

Her only income is a small pension from her days as a florist, the court heard and the probation officer concluded: “She used to get £500 a month allowance from her husband – there could be some struggles in relation to finances.”

Magistrates imposed a 12-month conditional discharge.

They also ordered Mrs Foley to pay a statutory victim services surcharge of £20 but no costs due to her means.

Finally, they imposed a restraining order preventing her from entering Spring Lane or from contacting her husband for 12 months.

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on Newbury Weekly News

Characters left: 1000

Article comments

  • NewburyJohn


    27/03/2018 - 13:01

    The woman is completely to blame for this, if she was providing for her husband properly he wouldnt be having an affair.


  • BrianinCoventry

    24/03/2018 - 11:11

    I have yet more to say! To call this man the AGGREIVED is nonsense. His injuries and experience, are nothing compared to her mental ones. Where is the Court of Justice, to bear witness to the crimes against this lady. Parliament, and the law must address the issue of who is the real victim, in every case. We are all human, and all make mistakes(me, perhaps more than most), but a man of the cloth, as a role model, should set a better example. He has much to repent, and account for to his God. He, may well have loved her, and cared for her and about her( two different things), and then sought solace in the arms of another, but this does not excuse his deplorable behaviour. He has much to defend himself against, to his congregation and parishioners. The Deacon may have a very, different story to tell. If I am wrong in any supposition, I apologise to him. You can tell by my statements, I am very angry, very unusual for me. I am normally calm, happy and mild mannered. Not this morning


  • BrianinCoventry

    24/03/2018 - 09:09

    Why on earth was she given a restraining order, when it should have been the other way round. She does not appear to be a danger to her ex-husband now. Also, why is there no mention of the extreme provocation, suffered by this poor woman, who has to bear the realisation of her husband's unfaithfulness, over several years? After being abused as a child, and a life of living with its consequential trauma, and taking medication, and the resulting side effects, coupled with living with the knowledge of his affair, maybe other, and now her state of living alone, with financial worries, with knowing he may be on her doorstep at any time, she has my deepest sympathy. I also fear for her future, as to all she has put up with, living alone, and with a unknown future life. Her mental state must be perilous. I sincerely hope she has good friends and relatives. My heart goes out to her. I wish her the very best of good luck and hope for a happy future. With love to her, Brian Sharpe(ex Newbury) xx


  • Tommy

    24/03/2018 - 09:09

    He obviously never took any notice of the 7th Commandment then !!