A Portuguese man in his sixties assaulted his wife on January 5 during a heated argument, prompting the police to intervene. The victim was in hospital for 12 days and was off work for three months, local French daily Monaco Matin reports.

Monaco’s Criminal Court heard that the defendant had brandished a hammer and threatened to kill his wife of 20 years, when she “got too close” to his face. He claimed that she fell during the argument, sustaining her injuries.

“I just pushed my wife away. She got too close to my face to provoke me. I had a self-defence reaction. Everything else is wrong,” he said.

Me Sarah Filippi, for the victim, spoke of increasing verbal and physical violence. She could no longer bear the infidelities of her husband. Financial reasons prevented the couple from separating, the court was told.

Me Christophe Ballerio, in defence, claimed that the victim was “an edgy wife who tends to belittle her husband and threatened him with a knife.” He added that the husband’s violent r repose was not disproportionate.

The court imposed a ten month suspended sentence and awarded the sum of 10,000 euros to the victim.