A JEWELLER admitted to assaulting and strangling his wife after she challenged him about whether he was paying for prostitutes and escorts in court this week.

Patrick Hill, aged 54, Hill admitted assaulting his wife causing actual bodily harm, intentional strangulation of her, possessing a knife in public and driving with excess alcohol on his breath at Gloucester Crown Court on Monday, September 4.

The judge sentenced Hill to a two year community order with programme and activity requirements, banned him from driving for 18 months and fined him £750.

Hill had been drinking heavily at home near Bourton-on-the-Water on Saturday, August 5 before he showed his wife details of payments made from his bank account to two people for £400 and £600, Gloucester Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Nadeem Aullybocus. "She was upset about this.

"She was already aware he had been sending messages to women as well as payments to them. 

"She admits slapping him once or twice with the palm of her hand during this confrontation."

Mr Aullybocus said Hill followed her and she became fearful and crouched on the floor in the corner of the kitchen.

Hill pushed her against a cupboard and punched her several times with his right hand, strangled her for 40 seconds and kicked her in the rib cage before driving off, said the prosecutor.

Police on duty in Cheltenham later that night saw Hill's car outside the London Inn.

They were aware he had allegedly assaulted his wife and may have a knife so they went into the pub to look for him but were told he had left.

The officers then saw a man matching his description outside and chased him down an alleyway.

He was then arrested and was found carrying a lock knife.

Hill gave a breath sample of 73micrograms of alcohol - more than twice the legal driving limit.

Steve Young, defending, said that although Hill's behaviour that night had been 'appalling and sustained' it was out of character and his wife was prepared to forgive him and to continue their relationship.

The solicitor went on to say Hill had been particularly stressed at that time with his business hitting financial difficulties.

Judge Lawrie told him that normally for such offences he would be locked up as his behaviour had been 'inexcusable.'

He said: "This was your wife and you tried to strangle her.

"There was a lot in your life at the time that was causing a great deal of pressure and stress for you.  

"Your partner has come here to speak for you and you are considerably in her debt. 

"In future you should show her sobriety and respect."