Drunken cancer patient attacked her partner and a police officer

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court

A cancer patient described as an “aggressive drunk” must undergo alcohol treatment after assaulting her partner of more than 40 years and a police officer.

Valerie Seale, 58, of Coniston Park Drive, Standish, appeared in the dock at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court to be sentenced after pleading guilty to the two offences at an earlier hearing.

Justices were told her partner Neil Sutton described them both as “alcohol dependent” and said she was an “aggressive drunk”, who had assaulted him many times over the years, leading to him making reports to the police.

He went to hospital on November 30 after taking an overdose, which he said was because he could not cope with the domestic situation.

Steve Woodman, prosecuting, said Mr Sutton was discharged on December 3 and returned to the couple’s home on Barbrook Close, Standish.

Police visited that day to check everything was okay and left.

But Mr Woodman said: “Unfortunately within a matter of half an hour or so, Ms Seale has assaulted Neil Sutton by hitting him with his walking stick and pushing the couch into his leg.”

He said items were also thrown at Mr Sutton, including a full bottle of water, hitting his arm. Seale was arrested and was put in temporary accommodation in a different area, but later returned to live with Mr Sutton.

But Mr Woodman said she was arrested again on February 5 following another allegation of assault. She became “irate”, shouting at the police officers and her partner, before kicking out, hitting PC Bucys in the hand.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mr Sutton said: “It’s got to the point where I think she will either kill me or I will end up killing myself.”

Mr Woodman said Seale already had convictions for seven offences, including three for assaulting Mr Sutton, while he was convicted of assaulting her in 2016.

Mr Sutton did not want a restraining order imposed, the court heard.

Seale, who walked into court with a crutch, pleaded guilty at the first opportunity to assaulting an emergency worker and admitted assaulting Mr Sutton on the day a trial was due to start. A second charge of assaulting Mr Sutton was dropped.

Andrea Woods, defending, said: “It’s a really sorry state of affairs.”

She said Seale could not give a proper account of what happened due to alcohol consumption, but did not believe she was physically capable of some of the allegations, such as pushing the couch.

Seale has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, C-difficile, osteoporosis and discitis, inflammation between her spinal discs which causes a lot of pain, Mrs Woods said.

She said there had been “a lot of hostility” from Seale to her partner, which was due to the “abuse” she had suffered, and that she never assaulted him unless it was in self-defence.

Mrs Woods said Seale wanted to separate and sell the home the couple shared, but claimed Mr Sutton refused to do this and wanted the relationship to continue.

Mrs Woods said: “She is an intelligent, very likeable woman, very engaging.

“She really could do without being in custody at this time of her life.

“She has a supportive family. She has a very difficult set of personal circumstances.

“Hopefully the probation service will be able to offer her a greater support network and enable her to get out of the situation she finds herself in.”

Magistrates imposed a 12-month community order, with an alcohol treatment requirement for six months and 15 rehabilitation activity

days.

She must pay £225 prosecution costs, £100 fine and £85 victim surcharge.