Shipston cafe owner jailed for attack on wife

A SOUTH Warwickshire cafe owner attacked his estranged wife, fracturing her collarbone, after letting himself into her home and finding her with another man.

And at Warwick Crown Court David Gomez, who runs Cafe Rico which he had set up with his wife in Shipston-on-Stour, was jailed for 12 months.

Gomez,36, of New Street, Shipston, had pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm on his wife Sarah Sweeney and common assault on Thomas Bradley.

Prosecutor Sarah Allen said that in February Gomez and Miss Sweeney, who had separated after nine years together, had been at the same party in Shipston when she left with Mr Bradley and went back to her home nearby.

"The defendant took it upon himself to enter her home unannounced and uninvited and on seeing her with Mr Bradley he became upset and assaulted Mr Bradley, causing a small lump to the side of his forehead."

Gomez then turned his anger onto Miss Sweeney and after following her into the bathroom of the flat he pushed her, causing her to fall against the side of the bath, fracturing her collarbone.

Judge James Pyke observed that Miss Sweeney had said she also suffered a fractured wrist but Rhona Campbell, defending, said the medical evidence did not support that.

Miss Allen said the police were called by worried neighbours who had heard the noise of the attack and when he was arrested Gomez admitted the assaults, during which he was verbally abusive towards Miss Sweeney.

He explained that he had let himself in with keys he had retained following the break-up of their relationship, added Miss Allen.

Miss Campbell said that although she had retained her own surname, Miss Sweeney and Gomez, who had a young daughter, had married five years ago.

They had moved from London to the Cotswolds and decided to set up a business together, opening Caf Rico in Shipston, while Gomez is also part of a web design business called Cotswold Media.

But in the run-up to the incident in February their relationship had begun to suffer and they separated.

They had continued to work together at the caf and on the evening of the incident there was further discord between them before they had both gone on to the same party.

Miss Campbell said Miss Sweeney left the party with Mr Bradley to go back to her mother's old address, where she had been staying since the break-down of the marriage.

When Gomez let himself in, he saw them there and carried out the attacks.

Miss Campbell conceded: "No part of my mitigation is to suggest that anything that happened is anything other than a thoroughly unpleasant and unforgivable incident."

But she said Gomez was "genuinely remorseful" for what he did and asked the Judge to suspend any prison sentence, adding that if he was jailed, the caf - which employs four people - would shut down.

But jailing Gomez, Judge Pyke told him: "The degree of violence you engaged in was such that your wife suffered a fractured collarbone and extensive bruising.

"I have regard to the degree of emotional stress to which you were subject. But making all the allowances I can... no lesser sentence than an immediate sentence of imprisonment can be justified."