A COMPANY director who assaulted his estranged wife in a busy New Forest pub has been ordered to do 60 hours of unpaid community work.
Simon Hawtrey-Coombs (52) was also given a two year restraining order and told to pay £500 court costs following the incident in the White Buck at Burley.
Hawtrey-Coombs appeared for sentencing at Southampton Magistrates’ Court having previously been found guilty of assaulting his second wife Gemma amid their acrimonious split.
He became agitated on the evening of 12th March last year when he saw her eating at the pub, which he regularly visited. He sent her a text about boots she was wearing before he went over to the table, slapped her on the back and made an unpleasant comment.
In her evidence, the victim told the court: “I was in shock. I just couldn’t believe it.”
Finding him guilty of assault by beating, District Judge Peter disbelieved Hawtrey-Coombs’ claim he did not make any contact with Gemma.
The defendant, who denied the charge, conceded in his evidence he was “frustrated” at the time and made a “regrettable comment”.
He told the court they had been married since 2014, having met 13 years previously and their divorce was “acrimonious”.
Hawtrey-Coombs had admitted two charges of harassment without violence in relation to sending Gemma abusive text messages.
A former Burley resident who now lives in Marina Drive, Boscombe, Hawtrey-Coombs is a director of Wimborne firm Hawtrey Logistics Ltd.