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Randalstown man avoids prison for threatening to smash wife's teeth with spanner


District Judge Fiona Bagnall described the incident as "unpleasant".

District Judge Fiona Bagnall described the incident as "unpleasant".

PA Archive/PA Images

District Judge Fiona Bagnall described the incident as "unpleasant".

A man has avoided prison for threatening to smash his wife's teeth out with a spanner over unfounded accusations of infidelity.

Robert Gordon, 44, was given a six-month suspended sentence on charges of grabbing the woman by the throat and telling she would be dead within hours.

Prosecutors said he launched the attack as the couple drove into Ballymena, Co Antrim on Sunday afternoon.

Gordon, of Magherabeg Road, Randalstown, admitted common assault, threats to kill and possessing an offensive weapon.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard police were called after the woman alerted staff at a filling station on Ballymena's Antrim Road.

She alleged that Gordon had tried to choke her and called her "a whore" while their car was stopped.

"She said he held a spanner to her face, threatened to smash her teeth out, slit her throat and warned that by the end of the night she would be dead," a Crown lawyer said.

Defence solicitor Stewart Ballentine told the court Gordon regretted actions fuelled by alcohol.

"They were going to Ballymena to do their necessary shopping and for whatever reason this man accused her of cheating on him," he said.

"They pulled over and he accepted that he grabbed his wife and apologises for that.

"He made foolish threats in the filling station forecourt which he never had any intention of carrying out."

According to Mr Ballentine the couple have been in a loving relationship for 18 years.

"Mr Gordon does hope there will be a reconciliation," he added.

Imposing a six-month sentence, suspended for two years, District Judge Fiona Bagnall said: "It's an unpleasant incident, and if he's back again for anything of this nature he will be in severe difficulties."

Belfast Telegraph