A husband broke his wife’s arm after she boasted about sleeping with another man in their marital bed.
Peter Graham, 68, was outraged, as expected, after Sara Wheeler, 56, told him that she had been unfaithful. The confession resulted in a row that spiraled out of control.
It happened at their home in South Hill Park, Hampstead, England. As they quarreled, Sara repeatedly goaded Peter, daring him to hit her so he used both hands to twist her left arm, thereby breaking it in three places.
“She had taunted him by saying ‘hit me, hit me, hit me’ and then he gave her wrist a twist just to shut her up,” prosecutor Deepak Kapur told the Blackfriars Crown Court.
Graham admitted causing grievous bodily harm to his wife who is a respected travel writer whose works include international bestseller ‘Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica’ and ‘The Magnetic North: Notes on the Arctic Circle.’
Judge Rajeev Shetty told him:
“The circumstances of this case I appreciate are sad and also embarrassing for both you and indeed Ms Wheeler. She had been having what appears to be a lengthy inter-marital affair and indeed on the day of the offence you were having an argument about it. It is accepted by the prosecution that this culminated in a sequence of events where she was screaming at you and confronting you when both you and her were drunk. She was blocking the door and repeatedly asking you to hit her. You grabbed her by the arm, intending no doubt to give her a Chinese burn. You twisted her arm forcefully and that had the effect of causing her to suffer a fracture to her wrist-slash-arm.”
The judge added:
“You were arrested and interviewed and during the course of that interview I appreciate you were very candid with the police. There had come a time in 2016 when she had been talking about infidelity which had occurred at your own address, indeed in your own bedroom. This led to both of you drinking and having an argument.”
The court heard Graham has since moved out of the marital home but still sees his two teenage sons, regularly taking one of the boys to school. He is barred from contacting Ms. Wheeler but is allowed to visit the family home on the condition he leaves before she returns. Ms. Daly described the new arrangement as representing “a lasting punishment for him”.
Judge Shetty revealed that a prison sentence will have a disastrous effect on the family, especially considering that Ms. Wheeler travels a lot for work and Graham needs to be around to look after their children.
The judge told him:
“You must realise, in case I have to spell it out to you, that assaulting a woman, even in circumstances of extreme stress can never be excused. But I can reach the conclusion that you are not by your nature a violent man and, perhaps more importantly than that, you are not a bully.”
Graham was handed an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months. He must also undertake a rehabilitative activity requirement spanning 25 days and abide by a curfew stipulating that he must be indoors between the hours of 9 pm and 8 am. The judge also ordered him to pay £535 costs as well as a court surcharge.