NEIGHBOURS had to intervene when a 57-year-old man assaulted his wife outside their home.

Blackburn magistrates heard there were no previous records of domestic violence between Michael Smith and his partner during their 30 years together.

And she refused to make a statement against Smith despite what a district judge described as “an extremely worrying and prolonged attack.”

Smith, of Whalley Road, Clayton-le-Moors, pleaded guilty to assault. He was remanded on bail for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

Peter Kelly, prosecuting, said two neighbours had made statements detailing the incident. One saw Smith kick his wife in the body causing her to stagger into the yard.

She went back inside and both neighbours heard Smith shouting at her and then saw him kick her again.

She shouted that she couldn’t get out and asked the witnesses to call the police.

“She looked scared and the witnesses saw Smith punch her to the side of the head,” said Mr Kelly. “Two officers arrived and one of them saw the defendant kick his wife again.”

When he was interviewed Smith said he had been drinking and had no recollection of the incident.

David Scully, defending, said it was clear both the defendant and his wife had been drinking.

“He has had ample opportunity to think about his behaviour and he says there will be no further offences,” said Mr Scully.

He said Smith was employed as a school technician but feared the conviction may impact on his job.