A VETERAN of the Iraq War has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for assaulting his wife.

Christopher Bywater, 35, was convicted of two counts of grievous bodily harm with intent against his wife, Jodie Bywater, in a trial in April this year.

He was sentenced to three years for the first count and 11 years for the second, with both sentences to run concurrently, at the hearing at Hereford Crown Court on Wednesday, August 1.

At the sentencing hearing the court heard details of the two assaults against the mother of three.

The first took place at the couple’s home in Shrewsbury in September 2013 when he attacked Mrs Bywater who was pregnant with their child at the time.

The second charge, for which he received the longer sentence, dated back to August 2017 when he attacked Mrs Bywater at their home in Brimfield, Herefordshire.

The court heard how Mrs Bywater has returned home from a day out at Drayton Manor Park with her three children and mother, when she was followed into the bathroom by her husband.

He punched her in the head and kicked her as she lay on the floor.

The prosecution said that the assault continued 'for some time'.

The prosecution also explained how Bywater had been manipulative and controlling towards his wife and also had an alcohol problem.

The defence stated that Bywater had suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and was self-medicating with alcohol. They also pointed out that his behaviour has markedly improved since being in prison.

The court heard a victim impact statement from Mrs Bywater who detailed the impact the assault has had on her and her children’s lives.