Sentence cut after break-in

PUBLISHED: 13:21 07 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:48 06 May 2010

A MAN who smashed his way into his estranged wife s house with a crowbar, believing she was having a lesbian affair , won a cut in his jail term this week. Mark Eldin, of Bronte Paths, Stevenage, pleaded guilty at Luton Crown Court in May this year to af

A MAN who smashed his way into his estranged wife's house with a crowbar, believing she was having a "lesbian affair", won a cut in his jail term this week.

Mark Eldin, of Bronte Paths, Stevenage, pleaded guilty at Luton Crown Court in May this year to affray and burglary. He received a 15-month jail term.

This week lawyers for the 44-year-old, argued that his sentence was "manifestly excessive" as what he did was out of character.

Judges at London's Court of Appeal also heard that Eldin had shown genuine remorse over the incident, had admitted the wrongdoing at the earliest opportunity and had not hit his wife with the crowbar after knocking down her bedroom door.

Mr Justice Mitting, sitting with Mr Justice Jack and Lord Justice Scott Baker, concluded that a custodial term was appropriate, but said 15 months was too long.

He cut the sentence to nine months.

Mr Justice Mitting said after the incident Eldin - who had two previous convictions dating back to the 1980s - phoned police and said his wife had been having a lesbian affair with a friend.

The court heard the break-in took place on January 7 this year at around 1.50am following the break up of Eldin's marriage.

His wife had barricaded herself in the bedroom but, after battering down the front door, Eldin also made it into that room before his wife, staying with a friend, managed to flee.

"It is readily understandable that the two women in their own home are likely to have been terrified," added the judge.

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