A MAN who grabbed his wife around the neck to stop her throwing things at him has been found guilty of assault by beating.

Peter Mottram, 57, had acted partly in self defence, but grabbing his wife, Maureen Mottram round the throat at their home in Cononley had been disproportionate, said Skipton magistrates.

Mottram was however found not guilty of criminal damage for the smashing of her lap top computer after magistrates accepted he had paid for it.

The court heard that the couple had been married for 13 years but that their relationship had been going wrong for a few months, and that they were now going through a divorce.

Mrs Mottram told the court she had suspected something was not right and was devastated to discover her husband was in contact with a former lover on Facebook.

On July 31 last year, she had accessed his laptop, and had changed the password to include a swear word.

When asked by Mottram what she had changed it to she replied correctly, but in reaction, he had broken the computer by bending it.

Later the same day she had forced her way into the spare bedroom where she had found him on his laptop.

She claimed Mottram had been naked and that she had told him 'that is cheating' before leaving the room and going back downstairs, where she had broken a framed photograph of the pair of them.

Mottram had come downstairs, and been verbally abusive to her, telling her to get a ticket back to South Africa and criticising her for her weight, for her business and how she kept the house.

He then got her round her neck, and told her if she didn't leave, she would die in the house, said Mrs Mottram. After a few seconds, he stopped, told her not to pretend she was scared, and went back upstairs, she said.

She awoke the next day with red marks on her neck and had thought about throwing herself in front of a train.

"I wanted to die. I was depressed and upset and wouldn't have cared if he had killed me. It was the worst moment of my life", she told the court.

Mottram, who denied assault, said he had been in his dressing gown going over work documents when his wife had come in on him. He said he had grabbed his wife around the neck and had pushed her onto the sofa, but it was in an attempt to stop her throwing things, including a couple of small ornaments. He also feared she was about to throw scissors and a pint glass at him.

"I did grab her by her neck, but there was a reason for that, she was trying to attack me and throw things at me," he said.

Magistrates told Mottram, of Brigg Mount, Cross Hills, grabbing his wife by the neck had not been appropriate and was unreasonable in the circumstances.

He was fined £588, with costs of £620 and a surcharge of £58.