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Community stalwart's savage attack on wife

Victim was hospitalised, court hears

John Garvey

John Garvey

john.garvey@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886628

Court

A PILLAR of a village community attacked his wife so savagely she was hospitalised.

Newbury magistrates heard how 53-year-old Andrew Gravatt knocked his wife Catriona to the ground and stamped on her chest three times.

Jennifer Riddell, prosecuting, told the court on Thursday, September 3, that the incident happened at the couple’s Hill Green home in Leckhampstead.

She said: “There had been an argument about money and it became heated.

“She slammed the door, catching his foot; she picked up his laptop, raised it above her head and threatened to smash it.

“He later said all the problems they had been having over the years just boiled over.”

Mr Gravatt’s wife was taken to hospital, where she was detained overnight for treatment to her ribs, the court heard.

Mr Gravatt admitted assaulting Catriona Gravatt by beating her on July 28.

He has no previous convictions.

Laura Phillips, defending, said her client was extremely remorseful and a “professional man of examplary character, with not so much as speeding points on his record”.

She said Mr Gravatt, a father of two, was “extremely involved in his local community”, that he was treasurer of the Chievely Village Hall committee, a school governor and organiser of a local fireworks display.

Ms Phillips added: “He and his wife have been together for 25 years and married for 19. It has been a long and happy relationship.”

She said Mr Gravatt’s wife, who attended the hearing, had not supported the prosecution.

Ms Phillips handed in character references for magistrates to consider and urged them to grant her client a conditional discharge.

However, presiding magistrate Brenda Harding said she and her colleagues viewed his actions as “a serious case of domestic violence” and that a conditional discharge was not an option they were considering.

She added that pre-sentence reports were required and that a mid-level community sentence was likely.

Mr Gravatt had previously been on bail subject to a condition that he had no contact with his wife.

At Mrs Gravatt’s request, magistrates released him on unconditional bail until his sentencing hearing, scheduled for September 24.

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