Suspended jail term for Honiton wife beater

Woman punched in the face seven times.

A man who punched his wife seven times in the face has avoided spending the New Year in jail.

Khaled Meah, 46, formerly of Dowell Street, pleaded guilty to assaulting his wife of 22 years on two separate occasions when he appeared in custody at Central Devon Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard that on October 23 a call was made by the victim reporting the domestic violence and police attended the defendant’s address in Honiton and arrested him.

A witness told police that she had seen Meah punch and slap the victim, calling her a “s**g”, on Sunday October 16.

During a police interview, he claimed he lashed out after suspecting his wife was having an affair, which, he said, had left him “heartbroken” and that he “wanted to die”.

He admitted the assault.

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Meah went on to assault the victim again on November 20 and punched her in the face seven times and grabbed her by the neck.

A witness saw the victim forcibly pushed backwards and pulled into the Dowell Street property by Meah.

Simon Jarvis, prosecuting, told the court that an aggravating feature of this incident was that it was committed in front of children.

He said: “The victim suffered redness and swelling to her face and demonstrated that her husband had assaulted her.”

The court also heard that Meah had been drinking vodka on both occasions.

The defendant asked that a pre-sentence report, prepared by the probation service, not be read out in court.

Jeremy Asher, defending, said there was “cultural shame” for Meah about the incidents and that “it was not something he wanted rehearsed in the press”.

“My client accepts his behaviour was wrong and he shouldn’t have done it.

“There was a lot of upset and confusion in my clients mind as to what had gone on and it is a deeply personal matter for him.

“He accepts he should have walked away and taken time out.”

He added: “His family are anxious to have him back home - we have received correspondence to that affect.

“The house has a leaky roof, which he has not been able to finish. The family is living in a damp house.

“My client has not been able to work since being incarcerated, which has effected their finances.

“The whole situation is deeply unsatisfactory as far as the family is concerned.”

The chairman of the bench, David Brearey, said: “We have read the reports and feel these assaults are so serious only custody will be the correct course.

“There were children present, you were on bail and they were also repeated assaults, seven punches to the same victim. It certainly warrants a custodial sentence.”

“However, having listened to what has been said, this has been suspended for 12 months.”

Meah was given a 24 week suspended sentence and a supervision order for 12 months.