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Councillor punched mistress in the face.

Byline: Ross McCarthy

A Birmingham councillor has been ordered to pay pounds 500 compensation to his mistress for assaulting her during a row after he refused to leave his wife.

Birmingham Crown Court yesterday heard how Liberal Democrat Neil Eustace twice punched Jane Jones in the face during an argument in the bedroom of the house they shared.

The court was told Mrs Jones suffered a cut shoulder which needed six stitches, a black eye, swollen jaw and split lip as a result of the assault.

Eustace (45), of Coventry Road, Sheldon, admitted a charge of assault. He was conditionally discharged for 12 months, ordered to pay pounds 500 compensation to Mrs Jones and pounds 100 costs.

Sentencing him Judge Derek Stanley told Eustace that his behaviour had been both 'disgraceful and regrettable' but he accepted he was a man of positive 'good character' who had done much good work on behalf of the public.

Dorothy Seddon, prosecuting, said Eustace was living with 38-year-old Mrs Jones, of Station Road, Stechford, at the time of the attack.

'The defendant is a married man who has had an association with the complainant for some time and at the time of the offence was living at her address and had been on and off for a number of years,' she said.

On July 29 this year, Eustace attended his son's 21st birthday party, something which Mrs Jones was not happy about. But the couple agreed to meet later that evening at a local cricket club for a drink, said Miss Seddon.

While Mrs Jones was waiting at the club she was told by friends that Eustace was not going to leave his wife and that clearly upset her, Miss Seddon said.

Eustace then joined Mrs Jones and after they had had 'plenty to drink' returned to her home, the court was told.

At some point Eustace went up to bed and Mrs Jones later followed him. While in bed Eustace made it clear to Mrs Jones that he was not going to get a divorce from his wife.

The victim responded by telling him to pack his things and leave, said Miss Seddon.

Eustace became angry, started swearing and punched Mrs Jones in the face who then retaliated by hitting him back.

'This made him more angry and he grabbed her by the hair, pulled her down and punched her in the face,' she said.

Miss Seddon said Eustace then started to pack his clothes into plastic bin liners and as this was happening various clothes as well as a plate was thrown.

During the fracas, she said, Mrs Jones either fell onto or hit that plate, causing a cut to her shoulder which needed six stitches.

After finishing packing Eustace left and Mrs Jones, who contacted the police, was later seen at hospital.

Mr Mark Knowles, defending, said there were exceptional circumstances which had led to Eustace losing his temper.

He said the councillor, who has represented the Yardley ward for 14 years, was making financial contributions to both his wife and family and the complainant.

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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Nov 30, 2000
Words:518
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