An Isle of Wight man who grabbed his wife by her hair and neck, and then hit her in the back of the head in front of her children, has been spared jail.

Paul Symonds, of no fixed abode, and formerly of The Chandlers, Cowes, appeared at the Isle of Wight Crown Court on November 17.

The 42-year-old had previously been charged, and pleaded not guilty to, assaulting a person thereby occasioning them actual bodily harm, and intentional strangulation.

On September 4, he admitted a lesser charge of assault by beating.

Last week, the court heard how Symonds was at his home on January 3 with his wife and her children from a previous relationship.

She was getting them ready for school when Symonds started shouting and swearing at her.

Fearing for her children, she said she would speak to the school's safeguarding team about his behaviour.

The court heard how this made Symonds angry and he grabbed her by her hair and neck, forcing her backwards.

Prosecuting, Annabel Hazlitt, said the victim entered the lounge, where her children were, before he hit her in the back of the head.

She went upstairs but Symonds followed and raised a fist as if he was going to punch her.

When she went to reach for her mobile, she could not find it, the court was told. 

It was later discovered hidden in an old tumble dryer.

The court heard how Symonds, who has 15 previous offences, had previously been sentenced for battery against the same woman in 2021.

On that occasion, they broke up but later reconciled and married.

Defending, Jonathan Underhill, said Symonds and his wife had a "tempestuous" relationship, which was "on again, off again".

He said since the most recent offence, Symonds has had "an epiphany" and has, himself,  approached domestic abuse services.

He said Symonds is planning to move away from the Island.

Recorder, Elizabeth Bussey-Jones, said the fact children were present and he had hidden her phone, was an aggravating factor.

She said by leaving the Island, he was acknowledging the fact it was a "toxic" relationship which would end in more heartbreak.

Symonds was handed a nine week sentence, suspended for 12 months.