Man punched and bit mother-in-law out of irritation

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A FAMILY man punched and then bit his mother-in-law after becoming irritated that she was living in his home.

Terence Smith, 36, had drunk seven or eight pints before arguing with his wife at their home in Buckland Close, Houghton.

When his mother-in-law tried to intervene, Smith punched her in the face, causing her nose to bleed, before sinking his teeth into her right arm.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the woman had been staying with Smith and her daughter, as well as her two grandchildren, after being evicted from her own home.

But Smith had become fed up with her presence in the house and matters boiled over on the night of March 22 last year.

Katherine Dunn, prosecuting, said: “He came towards her with clenched fists and punched her in the face, causing her nose to bleed.

“She grabbed the defendant but he bit her in the right arm, which left her with bruising.

“Her 13-year-old grandchild witnessed the assault, who tried to get him off her grandmother.”

The court heard that Smith only let go of his victim after she had gouged her finger into his eye.

The defendant was arrested that night, and during police questioning admitted to the attack.

Smith, who is living with his parents, had pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm at a previous hearing.

Glen Gatland, defending, said Smith had reached breaking point because of his mother-in-law’s presence in the small home.

As a result of the assault, Smith, who’d held a gun licence, had had his weapons taken off him.

Mr Gatland said: “Her presence within the home had caused a great deal of stress in the family. It is not a very big house.

“This resulted on a number of occasions the mother and daughter being downstairs, and this defendant being upstairs alone, because he did not get on particularly well with the mother.

“It built up. It shouldn’t have. He shouldn’t have behaved that way. He has been to anger management classes.”

Smith was given a 12-month community order with supervision and must undertake 100 hours’ unpaid work.

Passing sentence, Judge Michael Cartlidge, said that it was perhaps for the best that Smith did not hold a gun licence if he behaved this way when frustrated.

He also warned him not to return to the family home while his mother-in-law was still living there.

He told him: “I think you would best off staying away.”

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