A BOXER who treated his wife and children like punchbags for nearly two decades has been jailed for two years.
Patrick Hutton, 71, glared at his wife Rachel and their four children as he was sentenced at Livingston Court.
Defence counsel Tony Lenihan said that Hutton still maintained his innocence even though a jury had convicted him of serious domestic abuse.
He stressed that the pensioner kept very poor health and had mobility problems as a result of having holes drilled in his skull after a brain aneurism, repeated hip operations and prostate cancer.
A jury earlier found Hutton guilty, after a three-week trial, of six charges of serious physical abuse resulting in injuries to three members of his family.
Sheriff Peter Hammond told him: “You were for many years an experienced boxer and a fit man and you used your feet and fists on vulnerable members of your family.
“These are serious offences involving ill treatment and violence towards members of your family who should have been entitled to expect your love and protection as a father and a husband. You abused, intimidated and assaulted your former wife Rachel Hutton over a period of some 18 years.”
Sheriff Hammond said that on one occasion in about 1975 Hutton had ripped some of Rachel’s clothing off and compressed her neck. He imposed concurrent sentences on each of the charges, amounting to a total of two years, and told Hutton the sentence would be backdated to May 20.
He said: “You can take it that – but for your health issues – the sentences would have been significantly longer.”
During the trial, Rachel, 70, said her husband – who trained at a local boxing club and practised judo – was a powerful man, nearly six feet tall and weighing 14 stones when he physically abused her.
She said the violence began when she was aged 20 and that the attacks often came when they got home after nights out.
Son John, 50, told how he was left to feed chickens at his dad’s coal yard when his parents went on holiday. He threw the entire sack of grain into the chicken run because he was scared of the birds and they all died from overeating.
As punishment his father gave him a beating and locked him in the chicken shed with the dead birds.
Hutton, of Church Place, Longridge, had denied a total of 16 charges but was convicted of four assaults on his wife, one on son John and one on daughter Maria between March 1965 and December 1984.