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Man fined for assaulting estranged wife

PUBLISHED: 11:01 07 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:36 03 July 2010

A man with suicidal tendencies, who sparked a police appeal after he went missing, attacked his wife and set fire to his driveway a month before his disappearance, a court heard yesterday.

A man with suicidal tendencies, who sparked a police appeal after he went missing, attacked his wife and set fire to his driveway a month before his disappearance, a court heard yesterday.

Derrick McHugh had been married less than a year when he violently pushed and shoved Samantha Best as he tried to get their marriage certificate to start divorce proceedings.

After assaulting his wife in their matrimonial home in Bradwell, McHugh, 42, went missing in February for more than two weeks.

Magistrates heard that McHugh, who suffers from severe depression and anxiety, also tried to kill himself on several occasions.

Yesterday he was fined £200 after he admitted assaulting his now estranged wife.

Gary Mayle, prosecuting, said McHugh and Samantha Best moved to Beccles Road, Bradwell, after their marriage last May and their relationship started to deteriorate badly in December.

On January 27 McHugh argued with his wife after he had gone around to get their marriage certificate so he could start a divorce. He then assaulted her.

Mr Mayle said: “It was a domestic related incident. It occurred after a number of instances. A scuffle occurred in the kitchen, with pushing and shoving. He was more than forceful.”

Following the attack McHugh then went outside and set fire to his driveway. He then moved to a Yarmouth bedsit from where he went missing on February 27.

When found on March 16 he was taken to Northgate Hospital and released on March 20. He now lives in Luton with his parents and is to unfit to work.

Claire Collins, in mitigation, said: “He has made numerous attempts on his life. He has been excluded from the matrimonial home. It has been extremely traumatic for him. I think it is fair to say the marriage is well and truly over.”

McHugh was also ordered to pay costs of £75.


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