An 81-year-old man has been told to give his wife £500 after he attacked her when she criticised him for failing to follow Covid restrictions.
Alan Walker was ordered to pay Marilynn McDonald compensation after he admitted lashing out at her when she told him off.
Walker, who has no previous convictions, was also fined £500 after a sheriff told him it was “unfortunate” he found himself in court for the first time at his age.
Walker, of Struan Hall, Calvine, Perthshire, admitted assaulting his 72-year-old wife by punching her on the body, seizing her by the neck, and pushing a door against her body on April 7 last year.
Fiscal depute Sarah Wilkinson told Perth Sheriff Court: “They had been married for 14 years and she described the relationship as controlling.
“At 10am they were arguing about the accused’s reluctance to adhere to the Covid-19 restrictions. The accused became angry and pointed at her.
“As an automatic reaction she pushed his finger away to get him to stop. The accused punched her to the chest and grabbed her throat.
“In doing so he shoved her backwards, telling her to get out the house. She kicked the accused to the leg to create distance and managed to get out the house.
“However, she forgot her keys. She reached back in and grabbed them. The accused forced the door on her, causing pain to a pre-existing arm injury.”
‘It is the first time I have hit a woman… I am ashamed’
She called the police and when they arrived at their Highland Perthshire home they found her “visibly upset” in the garden. She said she had been attacked.
“Officers traced the accused within the property and he stated that he had lost it and had hit Ms McDonald,” Miss Wilkinson said.
Walker told police: “It is the first time I have hit a woman and I am ashamed of it. I did assault her.”
Solicitor Jamie Baxter, defending, said: “He is very contrite and ashamed and embarrassed about the whole incident.
“He is an 81-year-old man who has not come to the attention of the courts previously, and has no intention of coming to court again.
“He had an argument that morning with his wife. He accepts he lost his temper and words were exchanged and both said things they regretted.
“He maintains he has not acted that way before. He remains hopeful that he is able to repair the damage caused to his marriage.”
Mr Baxter told the court that the couple had been spending time together, but living apart in the wake of the incident shortly after the start of lockdown.
Sheriff Gillian Wade said: “It is very unfortunate to see a man of your age in the dock for the first time and in particular in relation to a domestically aggravated offence which the court takes very seriously.
“It is quite significant this offence has been aggravated by the fact it was an assault on your wife. There must be no recurrence of this sort of behaviour.
“I appreciate that you have, up till now, been of good behaviour, you have not come to the attention of the courts and you have no record.”