Submariner spared jail for attack on man caught in bed with wife
A SUBMARINER who attacked a fellow sailor when he caught him in bed with his wife has been spared jail so he can carry on his career in the Navy.
Stephen Bell, 31, tracked down his wife Lynsey to a cottage on the edge of Dartmoor where he found her in bed with colleague Christopher Beer. He was so angry he hit his love rival with a glass, punched him, and battered him with a bedside table and a set of bathroom scales.
Bell's wife had told him she was going out to an Ann Summers party but he did not believe her and got a shipmate to cover for him while he drove to Mr Beer's home in Bridford, near Newton Abbot, to confront the pair. He was spared jail after a judge was told his attack was "a crime of passion carried out in a minute of madness" and that he risked losing his naval career as well as his family. Father-of-two Bell, of Copthorne Gardens, Plymstock, admitted wounding Mr Beer in June and battering him in an earlier incident in May. He was jailed for 12 months, suspended for two years, ordered to do 240 hours unpaid community work, and pay £2,500 compensation and £535 costs by Recorder Mr John Williams at Exeter Crown Court.
He said: "You are a thoroughly decent hard working man in whom the country has invested a vast amount to make you a skilled submariner. You are probably ashamed to have lost your utterly good character.
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"Your wife, who is now cohabiting with Mr Beer, has written about the effect it will have on her, her job as a palliative care nurse, and on your two children if you were to go to prison.
"You are a man with absolutely no history of violence and you flipped in what your counsel described as a minutes of madness. That is probably a very accurate description."