Exmouth husband who threw hamster in cage at ‘terrified’ wife is jailed
PUBLISHED: 18:07 15 November 2018 | UPDATED: 18:07 15 November 2018
A man from Exmouth has been jailed for throwing a hamster and its cage at his wife during a terrifying attack.
Victor Martin’s wife Theresa barricaded herself in a bathroom after he hurled crockery, furniture and the cage at her and threatened to kill her.
Police recorded him shouting threats during a 17-minute 999 call, which she made as she cowered inside the bathroom of their Exmouth home as he attacked the door with a steak knife.
He could he heard yelling that he was going to kill her while she could be heard crying uncontrollably as she pushed against the door to keep him out.
Police found a trail of broken plates and mugs going all the way up the stairs and the overturned cage on the floor. The hamster survived.
Martin, aged 56, formerly of Highview Gardens, Exmouth, admitted battery and making threats to kill and was jailed for 14 months by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court.
The judge told Martin: “When the police arrived the floor was covered in items you had thrown in your aggressive rage, including a hamster cage containing a living hamster.
“You told the police you felt things had got on top of you and you felt frustrated and had lost your temper.
“I have heard extracts of the 999 recording, made while the 17-minute call was in progress, and it is clear she was terrified. When she barricaded herself in that room, she feared for her safety.
“You were threatening to kill her and she was so terrified she moved furniture to keep the door shut as you attempted for over ten minutes to break in.”
Miss Felicity Payne, prosecuting, said the couple had been together for four years and married for 13 months but in that time, Martin had become more controlling and had cut her off from her family.
The court heard Martin’s wife told him the relationship was over the day before the attack in September, the final straw being an incident in which he lost his temper while building a trampoline and threw a metal pole at a rabbit hutch.
Martin tried to renew the argument the next day and lost his temper when she walked away, starting his attack by throwing crockery and moving on to a chair, a table and the hamster cage.
She moved a cabinet inside the bathroom to barricade the door and on the 999 tape the police controller could be heard urging her to put her weight against it to keep him out.
Police found indentations on the outside of a door and a steak knife abandoned nearby.
Mr Peter Seigne, defending, said Martin has no previous convictions, has expressed true remorse, and wrote a letter of apology.
He was under great emotional stress at the time and acted out of character.