2:27pm Wednesday 17th April 2013
By Lizzie Anderson
A MAN who head-butted his wife while their three children were in the house was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder caused by his experiences in the Army, a court heard.
Shaun Cairns, of Hall Lane Estate, Willington, near Crook, County Durham, admitted assault on February 10.
Vickie Wilson, prosecuting at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court today (Wednesday, April 17), said that Cairns had been visiting his children as the couple were separated at the time.
She said the 32-year-old had gone up stairs while the family were eating and became violent when his wife asked him to leave.
“He head-butted her straight between the eyes, causing a headache, swollen eyebrow and a large red lump,” she said.
Gwen Burnett, mitigating, said Cairns had suffered from mental health problems since serving with the Army in Northern Ireland and was alcohol dependent.
She said that he was was “genuinely horrified” by his actions and was determined to seek help.
Magistrates also heard how Cairns and his wife plan to get back together.
“This is a gentleman who is recognised by his family and friends as an outstanding member of society,” said Miss Burnett.
Cairns received a 12-month community order, including probation supervision and an alcohol treatment programme.
He was also ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs and a £60 victim surcharge.
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