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Suspended sentence for Drybrook husband who 'headbutted' wife and fractured her ankle in attack, leaving her in a wheelchair

By The Citizen  |  Posted: March 14, 2014

Craig Rushworth

‘LIFE changing’ injuries were inflicted on Rachel Rushworth by her husband as they wrapped Christmas presents together, a court was told.

She spent 10 months in a wheelchair after her spouse Craig Rushworth attacked her. Something said by Mrs Rushworth to her husband about the death of his infant son caused him to ‘see the red mist’ and unleash devastating violence on her, Gloucester Crown Court heard.

Her ankle was broken in the attack in December 2012 and she is still unable to walk any distance, said prosecutor Julian Kesner.

Mr Rushworth, of North Avenue, Drybrook, who works for Barnwood Shopfitters in Gloucester, pleaded guilty to inflcting grievous bodily harm. He was sentenced to 17 months jail suspended for two years and ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work.

Judge William Hart also placed him under supervision for two years and ordered him to pay £3,000 compensation to his wife.

Mr Kesner said the couple had been married 18 months at the time of the attack.

From soon after the marriage he had outbursts of temper, said the prosecutor.

On December 9 2012 he had an argument with his wife, before they both calmed down, went to the pub and had three pints of beer each. On getting home they opened a bottle of wine and began wrapping Christmas presents, said Mr Kesner.

“Unwisely, given all that I have mentioned, she spoke about an issue which was very personal to the defendant,” he said. “She triggered a rage in Mr Rushworth.”

Mr Kesner said Mr Rushworth wanted to drive away from the house but Mrs Rushworth had hidden his car keys because he was probably over the limit. He began smashing and throwing things around the room, Mr Kesner said.

“Then he assaulted her. He grabbed her hair and banged her head against the sitting room wall,” he added.

Moments later he again grabbed his wife and banged her head against the wall, said the prosecutor.

“She was on the floor and she felt pain to her left ankle. She got up and they ended up in the kitchen where he again threw her to the floor. She felt another pain to the left ankle. By then it had fractured.

“He grabbed her hair and slammed her head on the kitchen floor, headbutting her on the forehead. He continued banging her head on the floor and then got hold of her necklace and started to strangle her by holding it tight against her throat.”

The attack was brought to an end by neighbours who called police then went into the house to save Mrs Rushworth.

In an impact statement, Mrs Rushworth said she has been left “completely traumatised by the relationship and the violence against me”.

Paul Trotman, defending, said Mr Rushworth had been married to his first wife for 17 years and she was in court to support him. She had written a reference saying there had never been any violence in their relationship.

“On this day he saw the red mist and reacted in a way which was completely out of character,” said Mr Trotman.

Judge Hart told Mr Rushworth it had been a sustained and brutal attack. It was clear that he had ‘lost it’ because of his emotional state at the time and the fact that his wife had said something about his son from his first relationship who had died in infancy, he said.

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