A former police officer who “displayed aggression as a norm” attacked his wife in front of their frightened children and prevented them from calling emergency services, a court has heard.

Almost four years after the prolonged assault at the family home in Manafon, near Welshpool, Robert Martin Flanagan was sentenced to 13 months in prison which is suspended for 12 months.

The 55-year-old changed his plea and admitted assaulting his wife by causing actual bodily harm (ABH) after hearing what witnesses said during a trial.

He was also sentenced for contempt of court after a jury member heard Flanagan making “demeaning remarks” about young police officers who had given evidence.

At Mold Crown Court on March 14, His Honour Judge Niclas Parry said the consequences of Flanagan’s actions had been grave.


“What the jury heard during the trial was a story of a husband and father who was displaying aggression as a norm," the judge said.

"It was frightening to the children as well as your wife. It was a culmination of unacceptable behaviour. Even as one child saw their mother injured, you prevented a call being made. You displayed arrogance.

“Quite disgracefully during the trial you underlined your character by making demeaning remarks to young officers during evidence. After a 30-year career in the police force that underlines how your behaviour has changed.”

The judge added that the level of culpability was “most serious” because it was a prolonged and aggravated assault on a victim in her own home who was vulnerable because of her illness, and it was in front of children.

County Times:

“You are a man whose life had fallen apart,” Judge Parry said. “I bear in mind the stress and anxiety caused to you as result of a tragic bereavement many years ago, and the impact on your wife who became alcohol dependant. You lived in a permanent state of anxiety.

“The consequences have been grave. You’ve lost your good character, pride, home, wife and children. There is another side to your character.”

Flanagan, of Redditch in Worcestershire, was sentenced to 12 months in prison for ABH and one month in prison for contempt of court which is suspended for 12 months.  He was ordered to complete a 15-day rehabilitation requirement and 35 sessions, and pay a £140 victim surcharge.

The judge also imposed a restraining order for two years which will prevent Flanagan from visiting his wife’s home.