Husband battered wife's face when he caught her in bed with neighbour

Furious husband battered his wife’s face when he caught her with dungaree strap down as she lay in bed next to naked male next door neighbour who yelled: ‘It’s not what you think’

  • Jason Heathcote, 42, found his wife Ceri under the sheets with John Richardson
  • He shouted: ‘You f****** s**g, you f****** b****, you horrible w***e’ before hitting 
  • Mrs Heathcote was left with ‘significant’ swelling to the left side of her face  

A furious husband battered his wife after he caught her lying in bed next to a naked next door neighbour who shouted ‘it’s not what you think’. 

Jason Heathcote, 42, followed his wife Ceri into the Gawsworth home of John Richardson, in Macclesfield, Cheshire, at midnight and found her under the sheets in his bedroom, with one strap of her dungarees down. 

The father of one, an insulation engineer shouted: ‘You f****** s**g, you f****** b****, you horrible w***e’ at Mrs Heathcote before jumping on the bed and punching her as Mr Richardson shouted: ‘It’s not what you think.’

He then stormed off after the pair managed to wrestle him away. Mrs Heathcote, in her 40s, suffered ‘significant’ swelling to the left side of her face under the eye socket which was said to be ‘extremely sore.’ 

She later denied any sexual liaison with Mr Richardson and said her husband had ‘lost the plot.’

Jason Heathcote (pictured), 42, followed his wife Ceri into the XX home of John Richardson at midnight and found her under the sheets in his bedroom, with one strap of her dungarees down

At Warrington Magistrates’ Court Heathcote, was ordered to pay his wife £500 compensation after pleading guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm. 

The victim, who was in a ‘complicated’ relationship with Heathcote for nine years, called on him not to return to their family home.

The incident occurred after Heathcote began receiving texts from Mr Richardson’s ex-partner saying: ‘Keep your wife away from my house, she’s left my house at 4:30 in the morning.’ He confronted Mrs Heathcote about the messages but she denied any wrongdoing.

On evening of June 25, she had been drinking and socialising with friends who lived nearby. Heathcote joined them for a while before returning home.

Michael O’Kane, prosecuting, said: ‘She cannot recall how long Jason had stayed with them but at around 11.50pm she left her friend’s house to go to another friend’s house.

The father of one (pictured with his wife Ceri), an insulation engineer shouted: ‘You f****** s**g, you f****** b****, you horrible w***e’ at Mrs Heathcote before jumping on the bed and punching her as Mr Richardson shouted: ‘It’s not what you think’

‘She has known him for about four years and she is good friends with him. His door was unlocked and she went upstairs to find John who was asleep. She would not normally enter uninvited but as she was a close friend she let herself in.

‘She confirmed that her and Mr Richardson were not in a sexual relationship.. ‘She joined John inside the address and wanted to speak with him.

‘She was lying next to John on the bed and had been there about 15 minutes when she heard footsteps coming.

‘The defendant saw her and said, ‘You f****** s**g, you f****** b****, you horrible w***e’. She shouted at him to stop and John said ‘It is not what you think.’ The defendant got up onto the bed, knelt on top of her and started to pummel the left side of Ceri’s face.

‘She was lying on her back and unable to protect herself. She cannot recall how many times he has hit her. But she said the defendant was going ‘mental’, as she puts it.’

He then stormed off after the pair managed to wrestle him away. Mrs Heathcote (pictured with Jason on their wedding day), in her 40s, suffered ‘significant’ swelling to the left side of her face under the eye socket which was said to be ‘extremely sore’

Mr O’Kane said that with help from John, Ceri finally got Jason to stop the assault and he left the bedroom. ‘She was shocked and absolutely numb,’ the prosecutor said, ‘She said her face was hurting. She thinks that John spoke with him. She cannot remember.

‘As to the injury, there was significant swelling to the left side of her face under the eye socket which was extremely sore. ‘She was really shocked and really scared of him. She is particularly concerned about safeguarding their son.

‘She does not want the defendant returning to their address. The whole situation made her incredibly upset.

‘Mr Richardson also provided a statement, consistent with that of the victim.’

Mr O’Kane added: ‘Following his arrest, the defendant was extremely upset and cried throughout his interview. He said he caught his wife in bed with a friend who was naked. He said he had a meltdown, he said he lost the plot. He said he is not a nasty person, he is not aggressive and had never hit a woman before.’

In a statement Mrs Heathcote said there had been concerns at first she had a fractured cheekbone and added: ‘I still have a lot of pain around the area.

‘I’ve been told that it was severe bruising and it will take eight to 12 weeks to heal. I was in a new job and I had to take three weeks off. Fortunately my employer was very understanding.

‘I have suffered anxiety and depression. I feel I will never be able to get over the abuse and the damage that I have suffered. After being assaulted by someone I thought was supposed to love and protect me, I will never be able to fully trust anyone again. The impact on the rest of my life will be everlasting,’ she said.

Heathcote, who held his head in hands throughout the hearing, was represented by Andrew Derbyshire who said his client had been told his wife was visiting Mr Richardson at night.

‘You have heard from my friend that there was genuine remorse for his actions from the outset of the investigation,’ Mr Derbyshire said. ‘He broke down crying through the police interview. He was crying and genuinely upset.

‘In a police interview, he simply referred to how he had reacted to what he came across. ‘He lost control of himself and lost the plot.

‘What he states is that it was a spontaneous reaction to what he came across.

‘He had been contacted in the days beforehand by the ex-partner of Mr Richardson. He received a text message saying ‘Keep your wife away from my house, she’s left my house at 4:30 in the morning’. He had spoken to his wife and she denied anything was taking place.

‘She said she’d been at the property and had too much to drink, fell asleep on the sofa and came home.

‘On the evening of June 25 she had returned home and stated that she was going to go to a specific location. Out of curiosity he attended the home address of Mr Richardson.

‘What he states is slightly different from the information before the court.. He says that he goes upstairs into the bedroom. He says his wife and Mr Richardson were under the sheet and Mr Richardson was naked.

‘His wife had one strap of her dungarees down. What he accepts, and what he does not seek to deny is that he lost the plot. He saw red. He made physical contact with her in the way that has been described. He is appalled by the injury she sustained as a result of his actions.’

Heathcote was sentenced to 52 weeks imprisonment suspended for 18 months and was ordered ton complete a ‘Building Better Relationships’ rehabilitation programme, and undertake 200 hours of unpaid work. He was further ordered to pay a £154 victim surcharge

District judge John McGarva told him: ‘Whatever was going on in your head about what you saw, your response was completely wrong. You jumped on that bed and repeatedly punched her to the face leaving her face looking a proper mess. I’ve seen the images.

‘What made it more serious was that it was committed in a domestic context. It was a prolonged attack with repeated blows to the face. Thankfully the injuries are not as bad as suspected.’

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