A WIFE beater who drunkenly battered his partner has been spared jail after she pleaded with a judge not to send him to prison.

Colin Bennett, from Burtonwood, repeatedly punched his wife in the face after a day of drinking in the pub, leading to her locking herself in the bathroom in order to seek refuge.

But despite having had her life ‘turned upside down’ by the unprovoked attack, the victim showed ‘remarkable forgiveness’ by requesting that her assailant not be locked up.

And the 49-year-old defendant, of Bakewell Road, was instead handed a 10-month imprisonment suspended for two years after admitting assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Liverpool Crown Court heard on Monday, July 19, that Bennett has ‘long standing issues’ with alcohol and gambling and that the family had even moved house in February last year so that they would be living further away from the pub and bookmakers.

But at around 5pm on August 26 last year, he arrived home ‘very drunk’ and using ‘terrible language’ after a drinking session in a bar.

The complainant was sat on the sofa when her husband entered the room wearing only his boxer shorts and ‘looking angry’.

Bennett then slapped his wife in the face, pulled her hair and punched her to the head a number of times.

Having curled up in a ball in order to protect herself from further blows, she attempted to get up off the floor.

But he continued the assault, grabbing hold of her and taking her mobile phone and throwing it out of the window to stop her from calling the police.

She then managed to flee to the bathroom and locked herself in and, having taken hold of Bennett’s phone, rang her adult son who arrived and took him away from the property for the night.

After tearfully phoning her sister and visiting a friend’s house, she received treatment at Warrington Hospital for her injuries after receiving a black eye.

A statement read out to the court on her behalf said: “Since August, my life has been turned upside down.

“Not only have I lost my husband, but my family has been split in half.”

But she described her estranged partner as a ‘fabulous’ dad to their 10-year-old son and stated that she did not want him to be sent to prison, adding: “His family has been punished enough.”

Bennett – who has one previous conviction for affray in 1996 – gave no comment to police under interview after being arrested, but pleaded guilty to the offence on the day he was due to stand trial.

Defence barrister Carmel Wilde told the court: “This is a man who, with the right assistance and rehabilitation, shouldn’t be back before the courts again.”

He was also handed a restraining order preventing him from contacting his ex indefinitely.

Sentencing, judge Anil Murray said: “Her victim personal statement shows remarkable levels of forgiveness and compassion towards you.

“She looks at the situation from the point of view of her son, and she doesn’t want you to go to prison.

“If I sent you to prison, your son would be devastated.

“You have no relevant convictions and there are elements of remorse, although you play down what you did.

“There is thought to be a realistic prospect of rehabilitation, and you are said to be willing to address your issues.

“Immediate custody would have a significant impact on others as you provide financially for the family.

“I am able to sentence in a way that means I can suspend the inevitable custodial sentence.”

Bennett will be required to serve a four-month curfew from 9pm to 7am, as well as a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 20 days.