A husband and wife appeared in the same court one after the other today charged with assaulting each other.
Suzanne Hughes, 44, was first in the dock for the unusual “Mr and Mrs” session at Livingston Sheriff Court.
The former child carer admitted giving her husband a bloody nose during a drunken Halloween party punch-up on 28 October last year.
Her partner John Hughes, 47, was up moments later, charged with pushing his wife and causing her false teeth came flying out in an incident more than six years ago.
Both had denied the offences but pleaded guilty to amended charges on the morning of their trials.
Mrs Hughes was fined £300 and her husband, of Polkemmet Road, Whitburn, West Lothian, was admonished and dismissed.
Neither of them had been in trouble with the courts before, their lawyers said.
The couple left the building together after Sheriff Douglas Kinloch was told they now hoped to sort out their relationship after bail conditions preventing them from seeing each other were removed.
Dealing with Suzanne Hughes’ offence, Procurator Fiscal Andrew Richardson confirmed that an allegation that she had knocked her husband unconscious during the assault had been dropped from the charge.
“The accused started punching John Hughes as he lay on the ground, causing him to end up with a bloody nose and a minor injury which did not require treatment. She was pulled off by other witnesses.”
Mr Richardson added that police had tried taking a statement from John Hughes but noted that he was extremely drunk.
Neil Stewart, defending, admitted that “a great deal of alcohol” had been consumed by all concerned that night.
He said: “She accepts she punched Mr Hughes on at least two occasions.”
Passing sentence, Sheriff Douglas Kinloch told Hughes: “This is a sorry tale.
“Everyone was drunk and what should have been a happy evening ended up with everyone rolling about on the ground.
“You then became involved and started punching your husband on the head although the Crown accept that you didn’t render him unconscious.
“Had that been the case then this would have been a much more serious matter but, as the injuries were relatively minor, I’m prepared to deal with it by way of a fine.”
With John Hughes having replaced his wife in the dock, Mr Richardson said details of his assault on his wife had come to light when she was being giving a statement about her offence.
He said: “She and her husband had been drinking together..and they were having an argument which resulted in the accused pushing Suzanne Hughes on the body, resulting in her teeth coming out.
“That’s because they were not attached to her gums rather than by direct force. False teeth is perhaps the easiest way of describing them.”
Kate Fabian, defending, admitted the couple had “had their tensions over the years” but both were now taking steps to address the underlying issues.
She added: “Mr Hughes has stuck to bail conditions se he hasn’t had any contact with his wife for some time.
“Hopefully they will be able to resume their relationship and move forward.”
Admonishing Hughes, Sheriff Kinloch told him: “It’s somewhat sad that both you and your wife have ended up in court on the same day, each charged separately with assaulting each other.
“The charge against you was brought after your wife reported this when she was arrested for assaulting you.
“It was an assault six years ago and involved a push only with no significant injury. You’ll be admonished.”