Spurned man attacked love rival and damaged his new Jag

Gareth Wright has been jailed for violence
Gareth Wright has been jailed for violence -Credit:Devon & Cornwall Police

A spurned Devon man exploded with anger and attacked his love rival who he suspected was having an affair with his partner, a court heard. Gareth Wright woke in the night to find and found his partner was not there.

He armed himself with a knife and went to a nearby caravan where he suspected she might be with another man. He barged in and assaulted the man who was sat up in bed. The chaotic scene included his partner jumping on his back to try and stop him carrying out his threats to stab.

The knife ended up being thrown out of the window but Wright was not finished. While leaving he smashed the TV and smashed the windscreen of the man's Jaguar car.

Wright, 48, from Ilfracombe, has been jailed for two years and eight months at Exeter Crown Court. He said he was sorry and accepted his ex was in a relationship.

The incident happened in April of 2023. Wright suspected his partner was having an affair and left his address at 2.30am to confront the pair.

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He banged on the door and entered saying he was going to kill his love rival, prosecutor Victoria Bastock said. He was carrying a small kitchen knife and brandished it at the victim, saying he was a 'dead man'. The victim genuinely believed he was going to be stabbed.

The three people in the room then grappled with the partner pushed to a wall and the male being headbutted. The knife fell to the floor and was tossed out of the window.

Wright was eventually forced out but took the time to smash the telly when leaving. He later called the man to tell him he had 'f****d up' his new Jag.

Wright was arrested and admitted to police what he had done accepted responsibility for his actions. The court was told he had a difficult childhood and had found comfort in the relationship. He'd had suspicions about the relationship and lost his temper. He wishes he could turn the clock back.

The defendant, of Slade Valley Road, admitted ABH, assault, aggravated burglary and damaging property.

"He must have felt his world falling apart," said defence counsel Chris Cuddihee. "Circumstances occurred in which he exploded. He is not a normally violent individual. It was not him that started the affair. He wishes them well."

Mr Cuddihee said the defendant has a mental disorder linked to the offences and the sentence could be suspended. Judge James Adkin pointed out that Wright had told his doctor he had "never felt better".

Judge Adkin added: "You completely lost your temper as a result of thinking your partner was having an affair. Your partner jumped on your back to try and stop a stabbing. You slammed her against a wall. He tried to stop you and you headbutted him.

"Any use of a knife in these circumstances is extremely serious. The potential for that blade coming into contact with your partner or the man is enhanced."