A COURT heard that former town councillor Martin Eager punched, shook and threatened to kill his wife, who phoned the police.

Mr Eager, aged 50 of St Cuthbert's, The Homend, was sentenced in Herefordshire Magistrates Court on Friday, June 27, having previously pleaded guilty to the assault on Leah Eager.

The assault took place at around 8.10am on Thursday, June 5, at the couple's home.

Solicitor Gemma Goode for the prosecution said: "Mr Eager punched her twice in the face, causing Mrs Eager to fall backwards.

"Then he grabbed her dressing gown and slammed her to the floor."

"He shook Mrs Eager violently saying, I will kill you today'."

Mr Eager, whose weight was given as 18 stone, was described in court as "a big, strong man".

Mrs Eager, who felt "dizzy and unwell" after the attack, decided to call the police for help.

She had a swollen bottom lip and was taken to hospital for a check-up.

A report read to the court said that Mr Eager feared he was about to be attacked by his wife, and he held her down.

He could not recall what he said during the incident.

Matt Lewis, for the defence said: "Mr Eager has no previous convictions. He is 50 years of age and up to this point he has always been extremely restrained.

"He has accepted his responsibility from the outset."

The couple have been married for seven years. Divorce proceedings have commenced.

A number of acquaintances supplied character witnesses for Mr Eager, but these were not read out in court.

In sentencing Mr Eager, Magistrates said he had committed "a very serious offence" .

He was given an 18 month community order and must carry out 140 hours of unpaid work for the benefit of the community.

At the request of the probation service, he was put on a supervision plan for 16 weeks.

He was ordered to pay Mrs Eager £200 in compensation and £60 court costs.

Mr Eager asked for 28 days to pay the compensation and this was agreed.

In a separate matter, Mr Eager will appear before magistrates on Wednesday July 30 for committal to crown court on four charges of causing or inciting children under 13 to engage in sexual activity.