‘This is no justice for us’ - family of victim speak out

Peter Swarbrick, jailed for attack on wife
Peter Swarbrick, jailed for attack on wife

A South Ribble family has hit out after a man who attacked his disabled wife with a knife was jailed for only 12 months.

Peter Swarbrick, 47, was locked up after assaulting his wife Gina in the family home which she was unable to leave without the use of her wheelchair.

Preston Crown Court heard Swarbrick held a knife to his wife’s cheek, causing small cuts to her face, after losing his temper and locking the doors.

He pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH) which can carry a maximum sentence of three years behind bars.

But Swarbrick, of Station Road, Bamber Bridge, escaped with just a third of that sentence – sparking anger from the victim’s family.

A family spokesman said: “The family is absolutely raging. This sentence sends out the wrong message.

“Her life has been a complete misery. There is no comfort in knowing he has been locked up because he didn’t get what he should have done. He has left her with mental and physical scars that will last a lifetime.”

Swarbrick was arrested on October 1, 2010, and bailed by magistrates but by October 30 he appeared back in court after breaching his bail conditions.

He broke his bail conditions again in June this year.

Swarbrick, who was sentenced on last week, has also been made the subject of a restraining order for 12 months although his wife, who has a spinal condition and has recovered from breast cancer this year, has since moved away to escape the relationship.

Valerie Wise, director of Preston Domestic Violence Services, added: “It does not appear to reflect how horrendous this was for the victim. 12 months for somebody who attacked his disabled wife for whom he was also a carer. I don’t think that is a true reflection.”

Chrissie Hunt, Senior Crown Prosecutor, said: “Domestic violence is an abhorrent crime and in this case was made worse by the complainant’s disability. We will always prosecute cases like this robustly. The victim has shown courage in coming forward and I am pleased that the defendant has been convicted.”