Stress over divorce led to offences

PUBLISHED: 12:33 30 March 2006 | UPDATED: 11:39 04 May 2010

UNABLE to cope with the stress of divorce after 20 years of marriage, Ely man David Lavender went on to commit a string of offences. On the day he received notice that his wife Elaine was intending to divorce him, Lavender got into a raging temper and a

UNABLE to cope with the stress of divorce after 20 years of marriage, Ely man David Lavender went on to commit a string of offences.

On the day he received notice that his wife Elaine was intending to divorce him, Lavender got into "a raging temper" and assaulted his wife.

A month later he was told he could pick up belongings from the former matrimonial home - but when he was arrested for breaching his bail conditions he got into a scuffle with police officers, and kicked out.

Lavender received news of the divorce settlement on February 21 - and on that day he phoned his former mother-in-law, threatening to kill his ex-wife.

"All these offences took place against a background of emotional difficulties David Lavender was having after receipt of his divorce petition," Ben Peers told Ely magistrates on Thursday.

"He had been married for 20 years, the initial divorce petition did not contain any grounds about him being violent, each of these offences arose out of a moment of great stress."

Lavender, 49, of Benedict Street, Ely, had previously denied assaulting his wife and PC Herring, but was found guilty after trials. This week he admitted making a threat to kill his wife, when phoning Veronica Edwards.

Prosecuting, Delia Matthews said news of the impending divorce had not gone down well with Lavender, he threw a cup of tea when at home with his wife, and during an incident he grabbed her shoulder and broke her necklace.

At Ely Police Station, Lavender was restrained by officers, and kicked out at PC Christopher Herring.

Not happy about the divorce settlement, he phoned Mrs Edwards and told her: "She has taken everything, I am going to kill your daughter."

Ordering Lavender to take part in an aggression replacement training programme as part of a 12-month supervision order, and pay £565 costs, presiding magistrate Hamish Ross told him: "Your actions were unacceptable, and arose out of your incapability to cope with sudden stressful situations.

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