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Unfaithful deacon attacked by betrayed wife

Reverend 'locked himself in bedroom' as spurned spouse raged

John Garvey

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.

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