A 51-YEAR-OLD man who threatened to cut his wife’s throat in a “campaign of domestic violence” has avoided an immediate jail term.

Delaney Smart also threatened to set fire to his wife’s home in Sedbury near Chepstow while she was inside, Gloucester Crown Court heard.

Smart, now of Westerleigh Road in Westerleigh near Bristol, admitted criminal damage to her house, assaulting her, assaulting her friend and harassing her between August 18 and October 24 last year.

Recorder James Bromige, sentenced him to a total of 32 weeks imprisonment suspended for two years with a 30-day accredited probation programme and a requirement to do 200 hours of unpaid work.

He also imposed a five-year restraining order on Smart - a volunteer at Chepstow Town FC - barring him from contacting his wife and prohibiting him from going to the road in Sedbury where his wife lives.

Smart was also barred from the Bulwark Community Centre, her workplace in Chepstow and the Playhouse Gentlemen’s Club in Cardiff.

The judge told Smart: “This was a campaign of domestic violence against your former wife during which you were happy for your children and her friends to be collateral damage.

“You were in an 18-year relationship with her and were married for eight years. Since 2020, she says, you had become increasingly paranoid because of your reliance on alcohol and cocaine.

“You were a drink and drug-addled husband, prone to bouts of anger and prone to displays of dominant masculine violence before becoming physically abusive.

“To relieve the pressure on her she went out with a friend to the White Lion pub in Chepstow on August 18 and you were supposed to be looking after the children.

"But your jealousy rose up. You texted her constantly, demanding to know when she would be home.

“You then went to the pub and you shouted and swore at her in front of her friend.

"The friend told you to calm down but you pushed her, causing her to fall backwards over a bench.

“Your wife returned home fearful of what would come next.

"On August 20, after you had spent most of the day drinking and under the influence of drugs, you returned to the family home and shouted at her.

"You ripped the living room door off its hinges and charged upstairs.

“With the children watching you told her you were going to ******* kill her.

“Courageously, she then went to the police. You were arrested and bailed until September 2.

“But after that time you continued to harass her, phoning her and emotionally blackmailing her about what would happen to the family if you went to prison.

“On September 10 you followed her to a supermarket and then went to the family home unannounced.

“You confronted her at work on October 23 and you threatened to slit her throat and burn down her house. “

The judge said he took into account several character references submitted to the court by people who knew Smart and spoke well of him, but he was sceptical about whether the writers had full knowledge of what he had done.

Recorder Bromige said he also had to consider Smart’s criminal record between 1991 and 2017 – two offences of assault and two of possessing cocaine.

But, he said, he took into account in Smart’s favour his voluntary work with Chepstow Town Football Club, helping all age groups there, which was something to his credit.

“Abusing a wife in this way is treated by the courts as a very serious offence,” said the judge.

“But there is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation which means your offending can be dealt with in the community.

“I also take into account that immediate custody would have a significant impact upon your children.

“You clearly failed as a parent during 2023 but you have the prospect of a good salary and to deprive the children of their father and of financial stability would have a significantly harmful impact.”

Prosecutor Ryan Murray had told the court during the hearing that Mrs Smart had been ‘petrified’ by her husband’s campaign of threats and violence and had at times been worried about going home unless he returned again.

Defence lawyer Sarah Jenkins said Smart realised his behaviour had been ‘completely inappropriate’.

She said he also accepted he had been a regular drinker and a recreational user of drugs at weekends which had an impact on his behaviour.