In court
Man brandished cleaver when police arrived

By Court Reporter Wednesday 17 October 2012 Updated: 24/10 08:42

A ‘WIFE-BEATER’ who brandished a cleaver when police arrived to arrest him for attacking his partner has been ordered to take part in a domestic abuse programme.

Steven Coombs had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to a charge of affray and was given a community order with two years supervision and a condition of living at a probation hostel.

The 32-year-old, of Quarry Close, was also ordered to take part in domestic abuse and drug rehabilitation programmes by Judge Robert Orme, who said: "He bears the description of a persistent wife or partner-beater."

The court had previously heard the incident took place in March when officers went to Coombs’ home to arrest him on suspicion of assaulting his partner, Suzanne Bale, although that allegation was not proceeded with.

Coombs answered the door and allowed them in, and when he was arrested he said he wanted to talk to Ms Bale, who was not at the house – but was told he could not see her.

He was allowed to go upstairs to get his trainers, but he then said he would not leave until Ms Bale had returned to look after their eight-year-old son who had broken his ankle.

When told they were taking him away while an officer looked after his son, Coombs protested, went to his bedroom and slammed the door.

He told police he had a weapon, and when they went in they saw him with a cleaver raised over his head.

It was alleged he had threatened an officer, but Matthew Brook, defending Coombs, said he had actually said he would harm himself with the cleaver.

In response, the officer pulled out his Taser - prompting him to drop the weapon.

Officers then entered and arrested Coombs after a struggle.

Prosecutor Iain Willis told the court there was now a restraining order preventing him from having any contact with Ms Bale.

Sentencing Coombs, Judge Orme pointed out he had been providing negative drug tests while at the hostel, and told him: "Congratulations, you’ve earned yourself an order which means you do not have to be locked up."

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