A DRUNKEN man who held a blow torch to his wife’s head, shot her in the leg with an air rifle and also fired a nail gun at her at their Forest home has been sentenced to a 20 months suspended jail term.

Prosecutor Neil Treharne told Gloucester Crown Court that 45 year-old Wayne Harvey, now of The Avenue, Ross-on-Wye, also made numerous threats to kill his wife during an eight month period. He committed the offences while he was drunk.

Mr Treharne said the shooting incident on May 3 this year occurred at the couple’s family home in Lydney when Harvey fired the air rifle in the direction of his wife and a pellet hit her leg. Harvey immediately apologised to her.

During the incident, Harvey also fired the nail gun at the wall and had held the blow torch a metre from his wife’s head when he made threats to burn the house down, said Mr Treharne.

Matthew Harbinson, defending, said: “Harvey has done everything he could possibly have done during a three month incarceration since this incident. He hasn’t just sat in his cell–he has engaged with professional bodies in the prison to combat his alcoholism and has attended numerous rehabilitative courses in relation to alcohol misuse.

“He is remorseful and he entered his guilty pleas at an early stage. This has been an awful period in his life. I suggest that as he has shown to this court that he is determined to rid himself of alcohol dependency he would benefit from a suspended prison sentence so that he can continue his rehabilitation in the community. He is fit and can undertake unpaid work.

“Approximately 18-months before this incident he lost an eye under violent circumstances. It was at this point that he most likely suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. This might put the situation into perspective. He wants to rehabilitate himself and leave alcohol behind.”

Harvey admitted assaulting the victim with an air rifle causing her actual bodily harm on September 1, 2022; engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour between August 1, 2022, and May, 3, 2023, assaulting her causing her actual bodily harm and assaulting a youth on the same occasion.

The judge, Recorder Patrick Mason told Harvey: “You have shown that you are a man who has considerable skills and is resourceful in the workplace. And when sober you are a decent man.

“Your descent into alcoholism resulted in you subjecting your wife and your family to a period of quite dreadful abuse. It went on for years in the background, longer than that contained on the indictment.

“There was a period of intense period of eight months where you abused your wife in the most repellent way. You bullied her. You controlled her by the things you said to her and did to her.Listening to what she had to go through is a very sobering experience. It’s all set against of your abuse of alcohol and so often there comes a time when they cannot control themselves.

“The final straw was one of those occasions which has affected your wife hugely.You threatened her with a blow torch, shooting her with an air rifle and firing a nail gun into the wall. These are appalling things to have done. Not surprisingly you have made her life extremely difficult. She must have been frightened by all this, causing her serious alarm and distress.

“I know that as you begin to withdraw from alcohol you have a greater understanding of the situation and have spent the last three months reflecting on how bad your behaviour was.”

The judge sentenced Harvey to a prison term of 20 months and suspended it for two years. He also ordered him to attend 30 programme sessions and a six month alcohol treatment requirement.

Harvey was also made subject to a ten year restraining order not to contact his wife except through solicitors.