Stud farm owner who assaulted wife and kept guns illegally ordered to work unpaid

York Magistrates' Court.

A Wensleydale stud farm owner who assaulted hid wife and kept firearms illegally has been ordered to carry out 120 hours’ unpaid work in the community.

Michael Oughtred, 61, punched his wife repeatedly in the ribs and kicked her in the shins following an argument at their home near West Witton.

He then pushed her out of the house and over a hedge, prosecutor Martin Butterworth told York Magistrates’ Court.

His wife called police to the stud farm and when officers arrived, they found eight shotguns which were not secured properly and a .22 Winchester long rifle which had no firearms certificate.

Oughtred, who is member of a shooting club, was arrested and charged with eight counts of failing to comply with a shotgun certificate, one count of possessing a firearm without a certificate and assaulting his wife.

He admitted the offences and appeared for sentence on Friday.

Mr Butterworth said the couple had been “working on” their relationship since the attack and were seeing a marriage counsellor.

Mrs Oughtred was still supporting him and had wanted the prosecution case to be annulled following her initial complaint.

The court head the defendant’s partner suffered injuries including a “nasty cut” to her shin and damage to her clothes in the incident on March 7, although she said later that the injury may have been caused by a “broken plant pot”.

When police arrived, they found four shotguns in a cupboard under the stairs and four more in a shed or barn. They seized all the firearms and arrested the troubled businessman.

Oughtred had a firearms certificate for all but one of the guns but did not comply with the condition that they be stored securely, the court heard.

He told police that his business was in trouble and that he was in a “state of withdrawal”.

Mr Butterworth said that Oughtred had never been in trouble before and he and his wife were still living together.

Victoria Hajba-Ward, for Oughtred, said the businessman was “incredibly remorseful” for the attack and said he had financial pressures at the time.

“He has reconciled with his wife and undertaken therapy and couples’ counselling,” she added.

“He uses the guns on organised shoots.”

District judge Adrian Lower told Oughtred: “I recognise that at the age of 61 you have not committed any offences before, which obviously begs the question of how on earth (these offences) came about.

“You made a fist towards (your wife). When she (tried) to leave the situation, you followed her. You pushed her, you punched her in the ribs several times.

“You pushed her out of the property and over the hedge outside. She suffered more than one injury and damage to her clothing.”

He added: “I can only hope that you look back on this incident, Mr Oughtred, with shame and remorse.

“It’s control, on your part, of your wife. She has been prepared to forgive you; she thinks the relationship has mileage in it.”

Oughtred was given a 12-month community order including 120 hours’ unpaid work and up to 25 days’ rehabilitation activity to address his mental-health and anger issues.

He was ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs and a £95 victim surcharge.

1 Comment

  1. Is this REALLY the way to treat a wife beater and someone who keeps unlicensed weapons. He MUST have friends in high places.

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