A MAN has been handed a suspended sentence after an alcohol-fuelled assault on his wife, which left the couple's house in disarray.

Shaun Elks, of Marefield, Lower Earley, appeared before Reading Crown Court today (February 20).

The 40 year old had earlier pleaded guilty to charges of intentional strangulation and assault by beating over an attack on his wife last November.

Elks had been drinking heavily at the time of the assault. A row erupted over the front door of the couple's home being left unlocked.

Reading Crown Court heard how this prompted Elks to strangle his wife, before producing a knife and threatening to kill her.

During the assault, the defendant took the woman's phone away from her, preventing her from calling the police.

In a fit of rage, he then smashed up the home, leaving debris scattered across the floor.

Officers arrived on the scene to find Elks' wife with red marks around her throat. She has subsequently suffered from neck pain, as a consequence of the strangulation.

Recorder Rachel Drake - who presided over the case in court - told Elks: "You got so drunk that you were not properly making sensible decision about the way you treated your wife.

"There was an argument - couples argue - but it doesn't need to result in the kind of violence you demonstrated that evening."

The judge told Elks that behaviour such as his would normally result in an immediate prison sentence.

However, she said the defendant has shown "genuine" remorse, and had made efforts to reform himself. In particular, she highlighted that he has totally abstained from alcohol since the assault.

In light of this, Elks has received an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.

In addition, he will be required to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work, and abstain from alcohol for 120 more days.

Concluding the case, Recorder Drake urged Elks to treat his wife with 'respect'.

She told him: "I am giving you an opportunity to prove your remorse is genuine, and that your desire for change is genuine.

"If it isn't, you'll be back here, and you'll go to prison."