Man jailed for hitting blind wife on head with meat cleaver

·3-min read

A man who struck his blind wife in the head with a meat cleaver because she had knocked his Xbox and television over has been jailed for nine years.

Jonathan Eldridge had been out drinking on Christmas Eve 2021 when he returned to the home he shared with wife Victoria in Ryde, Isle of Wight, to find his games console and TV on the floor, which he told police was the “trigger” for the attack.

The 42-year-old said to officers that he went into the kitchen to pick up a meat cleaver which he hit Mrs Eldridge over the head with, causing a 10cm wound.

As well as the prison sentence for grievous bodily harm with intent, the judge, Recorder Barry McElduff, imposed a restraining order on Eldridge preventing him from contacting his wife.

He told the defendant that “rather by luck than judgment she survived” the “brutal” attack.

He added: “The effect on Mrs Eldridge has been significant and enduring, a physical scar to the top of her head that she now understandably covers up as she goes out in public, but also psychological and emotional scars as well as enduring physical pain.”

Ollie Wellings, prosecuting, told Winchester Crown Court that the marriage had been falling apart and in the hours before the attack, Eldridge had attended hospital after taking an overdose.

The court heard the defendant had said that morning: “One of us is going to end up dead and it’s not going to be me.”

Mr Wellings said the couple had been together for 12 years and the defendant had acted as carer for his wife, who suffered with epilepsy as well as being registered blind.

He said Eldridge had drunk about nine or 10 pints before carrying out the “grave” attack.

In a 999 call, Eldridge said: “I have hit my wife in the head with a meat cleaver. Victoria wake up. I think I have killed her.

“I have got so frustrated with her, I am not sure she will survive this, I am going to be up for murder.”

Mr Wellings said the defendant later told police that a “possible trigger was his TV and Xbox had been pulled off the shelf causing him to flip, go into the kitchen, pick up the cleaver which he accepts hitting her over the head with”.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mrs Eldridge said: “I am still living day to day in utter disbelief, I have no idea why the man I have married and loved for over a decade would feel so much anger towards me and hurt me in the way he did.”

She added that she still suffers “flashbacks, nightmares and unbearable pain”.

Jonathan Underhill, defending, said Eldridge, who has a drinking problem, had shown remorse and had said: “What I have done is absolutely terrible.”

He said Eldridge had struggled during the Covid pandemic while acting as carer for his wife, who also had a drinking problem.

He added: “The Covid lockdown played a significant role in exacerbating the marginalised feelings Mr Eldridge was prey to.”