Wife who attacked husband with hammer in line for £1.8m divorce payout

The South Yorkshire farm home at the centre of a divorce row that saw a woman admit a lump hammer attack
The South Yorkshire farm home at the centre of a divorce row that saw a woman admit a lump hammer attack - EMMA TRIMBLE/SWNS

A woman who is to be sentenced for attacking her husband with a lump hammer is in line for a £1.8 million payment from her victim in a divorce settlement, a court heard.

Pamela Teasdale, 69, was originally charged with attempting to murder Daniel Teasdale, 74, but admitted attempted wounding with intent and was due to be sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on Thursday.

But Judge Jeremy Richardson KC was forced to delay sentencing in what he described as “a very serious matter” as a series of legal issues cropped up.

The judge was told that the background to the incident on Aug 21 last year at Burne Farm in Todwick, near Rotherham, which left Mr Teasdale, a farmer, with significant injuries, involved a highly complex and acrimonious series of legal battles over the ownership of a cottage and the couple’s divorce.

Laura Marshall, prosecuting, told Judge Richardson how Mr Teasdale, supported by the couple’s children, is still fighting the terms of the divorce settlement.

Ms Marshall said the current situation is that Mr Teasdale has been ordered to pay his wife £1.8 million and £800,000 has already been handed over.

Legal costs of more than £1m

The court heard that the remaining £1 million payment is overdue as Mr Teasdale and his family have lodged a series of challenges to the divorce ruling.

The family’s legal wrangles had already hit the headlines before the attack by Teasdale on her husband.

It emerged last year that they had run up legal costs of more than £1 million in a court battle over the ownership of a cottage worth £245,000.

That case went all the way to the Court of Appeal when, in his ruling, Mr Justice Moor said: “I have to say that this is one of the most regrettable pieces of litigation that I have ever come across.”

On Thursday, Judge Richardson stressed that he had no intention of interfering with the civil court proceedings around the divorce but noted that “vast sums of money have been spent”.

He said that it seemed that the family’s “wealth” will be “almost, if not totally extinguished” by the legal actions.

Few details were given in court about the main offence for which Teasdale is due to be sentenced.

Ms Marshall said Mr Teasdale was sat in a chair when he was “hit with a lump hammer”.

The offence of attempted wounding with intent carried a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Accused of stalking

The judge could not sentence Teasdale on Thursday because of legal complexities that arose after she was arrested in May for allegedly stalking Mr Teasdale while she was on bail following the attack.

Gordon Stables, her barrister, explained that she had admitted stalking at a magistrates’ court but, having now seen the full case against her, wanted to set aside this plea and contest the matter.

Mr Stables explained how the allegation related to her taking photographs of Mr Teasdale and the dispute was over whether she was on public or private land at the time.

Judge Richardson said this matter will be resolved by him at a hearing on Aug 1 at Sheffield Crown Court and there will be a further case management hearing on July 15.

The judge remanded Teasdale in custody but Mr Stables said he would apply for her to be released on bail in the coming days.