Jailed: 'Dangerous' soldier who left wife fighting for life after attack in Shrewsbury
A 'dangerous' soldier who left his new wife fighting for her life after striking her with a glass in a drunken loss of temper has been jailed for 10 years.
Mother-of-four Beverley Reeves, aged 38, suffered severe cuts to her jaw and neck during the incident at their home, in Ellesmere Road, Shrewsbury, on March 31.
She lost so much blood she suffered a brain injury and as a result struggles to speak.
Her husband of three weeks John Reeves, aged 36, was earlier found not guilty of attempting to murder her following a trial at Stafford Crown Court, but the jury found him guilty of causing her grievous bodily harm.
The court heard that the couple had been drinking prior to the victim ended up bleeding in the bath and that Reeves, a corporal in the Royal Dragoons, had drank seven pints of beer.
The background to this case:
- Soldier cleared of attempting to murder wife but guilty of wounding her
- Fall into gin glass ‘was possible’, Shrewsbury attempted murder trial told
- Jury told Shrewsbury soldier had previously hurt wife
- Shrewsbury soldier 'tried to murder wife', court told
Sentencing him Judge Jonathan Gosling told the court that it was an act of cowardice" and an action that had caused a great deal of detriment to Mrs Reeves, an accounting clerk and horse rider.
He said: "On the evening of March 31 you returned home and drank seven pints of beer. You were drinking with Beverley. For some reason you picked up a heavy goblet and thrust it at her neck in a single blow. Why you did that we do not know because you will not tell us.
"Whether or not it was in the heat of some argument, but she was herself in drink at home and in thereby vulnerable."
The judge added: "Beverley's mother and older daughters had to suffer the awful trauma of visiting her in hospital not knowing if she would live or die.
"Your wife will suffer, as will her family who are left caring for her.
"I bear in mind that you realise the gravity of what you have done and due to your first aid training you helped to save her life. But to pretend as you have for the last nine months that Beverley was the author of her own injury was an act of cowardice."
Mr Simon Phillips, mitigating for Reeves, told the court that the defendant had used his Army training to assist his wife and had dialled 999.
"The catastrophic injuries that this lady received overwhelm this case." Mr Phillips said.
He added that Reeves was due to be discharged by the Army following the hearing and that he had sold his own house in Copthorne Road, Shrewsbury.
Reeves, who has previous convictions for drink driving dating to 2002 and a reprimand for common assault dating to 1999, must serve half of the 10-year jail term for wounding Mrs Reeves before he can be released on licence.
Detective Inspector Mark Bellamy said: "Reeves is a dangerous individual who is now serving a lengthy sentence for this horrific attack.
He subjected his victim to a terrifying ordeal, striking her with a glass and causing severe injuries. I would personally like to commend her for her strength and bravery, I can only hope that her continuing strength will enable her to face the rest of her life in a normal as possible way, taking some solace from knowing that Reeves will be in prison for a long time."
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