A 35 YEAR old man from Cowling headbutted his wife after she confronted him about a late night message on his phone, heard Skipton Magistrates Court.

Steven Bond chased his wife down the stairs in the house they shared in Sun Street, Cowling, in the early hours of August 25, last year, after she had grabbed his phone off him in an attempt to read a text, the court was told on Friday.

Bond pushed her, causing her to fall and at the bottom of the stairs he grabbed her by her shoulder and headbutted her in the face, said Charles Macrae, prosecuting.

She was knocked unconscious and when she awoke disoriented, Bond told her to call for an ambulance as he had cut his face., said Mr Macrae.

The woman left the house and drove herself to Airedale General Hospital, Steeton, where she received treatment in the accident and emergency department. She suffered injuries to her face, head and neck, bruising around her left eye and also bruises to her chest and elbow.

The couple had been together for five years and there had been no previous incident, Mr Macrae told the court.

Bond, of Sun Street, who admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm, would have pleaded not guilty, claiming self defence, had he not headbutted his wife, the court was told.

In mitigation. John Mewies, said Bond had not been having an affair with anyone else, but he was friendly with a woman neighbour. Bond had been out for the evening with his cousin in Colne, and on their return, they had met the woman, and the three of them had spent an hour together before going their separate ways.

When Bond returned home, his wife had also returned from work and he joined her in bed, said Mr Mewies. A while later, he received a message on his phone from his woman friend, wishing him a good night.

Mr Mewies said the woman demanded to know who was texting him so late, an argument ensued and the pair of them went downstairs and Bond was trapped in the kitchen.

“He became frightened, she is considerably larger than the defendant and the only way to leave the property was through the door, which she was barring. He managed to get past the lady, but only by making physical contact with his head and the side of her face. In the heat of the moment, he believed it was the only way he could remove her from the doorway and escape. He was fearful of his own safety.”

Mr Mewies said the relationship was now over and Bond had not seen his wife for some time. Sentencing was adjourned until October 9 for reports with magistrates warning Bond he could be sent to prison.