A thug has been jailed after accusing a man of sleeping with his wife then battering him over the head with a mallet.
Newcastle Crown Court heard how Paul Quinn's wife claimed to have had an affair with the man when their marriage came to an end - but a judge said it was possible she had merely been "winding up" her husband.
When Quinn, 39, spotted the victim, who strongly denied the affair, during a night out, he hit him over the head with the mallet.
The victim had been out in Washington, on the night of December 22 into the early hours of the following day. They had then gone to a takeaway before running into Quinn outside the fast food restaurant.
Barry Robson, prosecuting, said: "He was saying to him 'You had sex with my wife'. He strenuously denied it and walked away towards the taxi rank.
"That's the last he can remember about events until he woke up in hospital some time later."
Mr Robson said a woman who was with the victim saw the attack.
He said: "When they came out she saw a man with a mallet and heard him say 'you ******* my wife' and walked towards him.
"He was very threatening and tried to hit him over the head."
The witness said people tried to intervene to stop Quinn, who has been jailed for 52 months, but was unable to.
Mr Robson added: "One man saw him hit him over the head two to three times and heard three loud cracks as the mallet made contact with his skull.
"He saw the victim go to the ground and the defendant ran off."
The court heard the victim was "bleeding heavily" as he walked away and suffered blows to the top and back of the his head.
At hospital he was found to have a deep laceration to his scalp which required three staples, as well as a smaller cut.
Quinn, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent and possessing an offensive weapon.
Recorder Jeremy Barnett told him: "You saw somebody who you thought had had an affair with your wife so you used a mallet to hit him over the head, causing serious injury.
"It's said you were provoked but the poor victim doesn't really seem to have done anything.
"But, it would seem, your ex wife may have been spinning a yarn and maybe wound you up, as they say."
Alec Burns, defending, said: "He didn't go looking for him, he just happened upon him and he had been doing some work on his bicycle.
"It was his wife goading him about the sex with the complainant in the context of splitting up with him.
"She was telling him she had a number of relationships, including with the complainant, as she broke up their marriage of more than ten years.
"Obviously their relationship is completely over now.
"He accepts he should have dealt with things differently."