Man beaten up for seeing friend’s wife

PUBLISHED: 06:58 20 July 2006 | UPDATED: 21:12 29 May 2010

STANSTED Airport worker Michael Cox bristled with anger after he discovered that his best friend was the new boyfriend of his estranged wife, a court heard last Wednesday. Cox burst into his estranged wife s home at Henham, near Saffron Walden, beat up

STANSTED Airport worker Michael Cox "bristled with anger" after he discovered that his best friend was the new boyfriend of his estranged wife, a court heard last Wednesday.

Cox burst into his estranged wife's home at Henham, near Saffron Walden, beat up Paul Anderson, his friend for 25 years, and squeezed his throat until he collapsed to the floor, Chelmsford Crown Court was told.

Cox, 42, of Willow Road, Dunmow, admitted causing actual bodily harm to Mr Anderson and of damaging his spectacles.

He was sentenced to 28 weeks imprisonment, suspended for two years, and placed under the supervision of a probation officer for six months. He was also ordered to pay £578 prosecution costs.

Recorder Martyn Levett told Cox: "I accept you acted totally out of character and that you feel shame and remorse. I have to mark the gravity of this case with a prison sentence, but it will be suspended."

Stephen Franklin, prosecuting, said the defendant and his wife Maureen separated at the end of 2004 and in December, 2005, she began a relationship with Paul Anderson.

Cox eventually heard about it on February 10 this year and became very angry about it. He rang Mr Anderson and shouted abuse down the phone. Later he drove slowly past a restaurant where Mr Anderson and Maureen were having dinner and looked through the window.

Two days later Cox burst into his estranged wife's home in School Lane, Henham, and went upstairs and confronted Mr Anderson.

He kneed him twice in the back and side and punched him about the face. Then he grabbed him by the throat, pushed him into one of the children's bedrooms and slammed him against the wall.

Cox banged Mr Anderson's head several times against a window frame and kept accusing him of sleeping with his wife. He shook him and got hold of his throat until Mr Anderson eventually collapsed on the floor.

Mr Anderson was taken to hospital and treated for cuts and bruises to his face, hands and ribs.

He also sustained a burn to his back where he was held against a radiator.

The court heard that when Cox was arrested he walked away quietly and told police he felt he had been betrayed by his best friend.

Emma Nash, mitigating, said Cox had been married for 18 years until his wife ended their relationship on New Year's Eve, 2004. He then found out his best friend was now involved in a relationship with his wife.

Cox was absolutely full of shame and remorse for what happened. "He just didn't handle his very high emotions in the way he should have done," said Miss Nash. "It was a one-off incident and it is something he bitterly regrets. He has lost his good character.

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