A practising Sikh from Bestwood Village was so ashamed of a drunken assault on his wife that he travelled to India to re-affirm his religious values, a court heard.
Sundish Hayer said she “feared for her life” when her 36-year-old husband, Sandeep, attacked her late one night at their home on The Spinney.
But now father-of-two Mr Hayer was “completely dismayed and hugely remorseful”, said his solicitor, Tim Holder, mitigating, at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court. And as part of coming to terms with his offence, he made the trip to India to visit the Golden Temple and take a holy oath in front of a Guru.
The Temple, which is in the city of Amritsar, is the central place of worship for all Sikhs throughout the world.
“It was a highly emotional visit,” said Mr Holder. “But it was to ensure that, in the future, he honours his wife and abstains from drink.
“This assault was a real wake-up call for Mr Hayer, who realised he had to change if his relationship was to continue.
“I don’t think I have ever seen someone so driven to achieve their objective.”
The court heard that the Hayers had been together for 18 years and married for 11 years. They had two small children, aged five and two.
The couple “came from respectable families” and both “contributed to society”, it was said.
But difficulties emerged over the past year and the relationship “stumbled a little”. Mr Hayer was under a lot of stress after working long hours, and, unfortunately, he turned to alcohol.
Things came to a head at 10.30 pm on Tuesday, February 2 when the pair had “a shouting match” after Mr Hayer returned home.
“Mr Hayer was woken by her husband, who was in drink, shouting aggressively and questioning her fidelity,” Mark Salt, prosecuting, told the court.
“She tried to move out of the way, but he kept following her and arguing. He dragged her down the stairs and she thought she was going to fall.
“When she went to the door to call for help from neighbours, he put his hand round her mouth and then pinned her to the floor. She feared for her life because she couldn’t breathe.
“He let go when their children came into the room, crying. Eventually, the police were called. Mrs Hayer had bruising to her arm and elbow and a cut to her face.”
Mr Holder pointed out that she did not require hospital treatment, and that there were no kicks or punches in the assault.
“She also recognises the good traits in him and wants him home again,” he added.
Nevertheless, Mr Hayer was “deeply apologetic” and had been receiving help and treatment for his problems from his doctor, Alcoholics Anonymous and professional counsellors.
After pleading guilty to assaulting his wife, Hayer was sentenced to a community order for 18 months when he must take part in the Building Better Relationships programme. He was also fined £100 and ordered to pay court costs of £85, plus a victim surcharge of £60.
The chairman of the magistrates told him: “This was a particularly nasty, vicious attack in the home, where your wife should feel safe.”