A SPURNED husband caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to a love-rival's home when he discovered his wife in a 'compromising position'.

Craig Stirk saw red when he caught his wife with one of his work colleagues and lost control of his emotions, a court heard.

The 47-year-old engineer caused damage to a picture, a lamp, a bedside cabinet and destroyed a kitchen worktop when he flew into a rage on August 21 last year.

Sam Faulks, prosecuting, told the Crown Court how the defendant had also grabbed two knives during his rampage through the victims home after discovering their deceit.

Stirk pleaded guilty to affray and criminal damage.

John Nixon, in mitigation, said his client had served in the RAF for 14 years before retraining as an engineer and had successfully worked his way up to a senior management position at a food manufacturing firm.

"He is in a very senior position with 14 engineers working under him – he is the driving force in the company," he said.

"Until this night he was happily married, a dedicated father and successful in business, but on that night his life imploded and all he felt was utter devastation."

Mr Nixon said Stirk and his wife were doing their best to remain civil to each other and are trying to move on with their lives.

Judge Stephen Ashurst gave Stirk, of Grays Court, Ingleby Barwick, in Stockton-on-Tees, a two-year conditional discharge and warned him to keep out of trouble or face the prospect of custody.

He said: "You are a man who has served not only your country but the community well for many years. You are a hardworking man, ordinarily responsible and you have responsibility for others.

"Your marriage came to an abrupt pause when you suspected that your wife was having an affair with a colleague. You drove to the address of the victim and when you arrived there you were greeted by your wife in a compromising position.

"What is perfectly plain is that you lost it and you allowed your emotions, brought about by what you had discovered, to get the better of you and made a number of threats.

"They may well have been idle threats that you had no intention of carrying out but you did pick up some knives in the property and for a short period of time he must have feared something more serious was going to happen."


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