Axminster woman guilty of assault

AN AXMINSTER woman could miss out on a career with social services after she assaulted her ex-husband.

AN AXMINSTER woman could miss out on a career with social services after she assaulted her ex-husband.

Pamela Joy Cutlan, 42, admitted attacking Paul Dennis Cutlan at his home on December 12, last year.

The mother-of-two, who is in the last year of a three-year degree course in health and social care, could now struggle to embark on her chosen career, due to the blot on her record.

The court heard Cutlan had visited her ex to ask where her eldest son was. The pair argued and she then scratched him down the side of his face - causing a visible injury.

In mitigation, Caroline Salvatore said the couple had married in 1992 - splitting in 1995 - and reconciling in 1998, when Mr Cutlan came out of prison. They separated again in 2008.

Ms Salvatore said the stresses of the relationship led Cutlan to have a nervous breakdown and be put in institutionalised care.

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She said: "This is the first time she has been in court and I'm confident it is the last time as well. She is a divorced lady who has been in a lengthy, but not happy, marriage."

She said she had rowed with her eldest son that day, who then walked out.

Concerned for his welfare, she visited her ex-husband, rightly believing him to be there.

In a police interview, Cutlan said her ex verbally goaded her and she slapped him. She acknowledged she should not have lost control.

Ms Salvatore said: "She hoped to be a social worker, but thought she had blighted her potential career before she had even started."

She explained Cutlan faced two charges, but the offences related to one incident - with a slap at the top and bottom of the stairs.

She added Mr Cutlan had provoked her by calling her 'mad,'. "Unfortunately, it became a reality," said Ms Salvatore. "She was taken to the police station, but was in such a state she couldn't be interviewed and she was institutionalised until she was in a fit state."

She called for the court to impose a lighter penalty - so it would be viewed more favourably in a CRB check. She added it was not a sustained assault, and Cutlan had clearly been in a delicate position.

Cutlan sat crying in the dock as Ms Salvatore spoke.

The court gave her a two year conditional discharge and ordered she pay �100 in compensation to her ex, plus �85 in costs.