A bride was beaten by her new husband on their wedding night because he couldn’t get her dress off, a court heard. Amy Dawson was hurled to the floor and punched repeatedly by Gavin Golightly, who lost his temper after failing to unfasten the garment.
She was left with a cut eyebrow and bruises to her face and chest following the attack, which happened when they went up to their hotel room in the early hours after marrying in a fairytale service.
Golightly, 29, pleaded guilty to assaulting her but was spared jail. Miss Dawson, who is divorcing him, said he should have received a tougher sentence.
The accountancy student, 22, who has a child with Golightly, said after the hearing: ‘I thought I was going to die. He looked like he was going to kill me.
‘After the attack, he left the room and I tried to escape, but he came back in and continued to beat me. Eventually, I escaped and found a hotel porter, who called the police. It was such a lovely day, and I was devastated it ended the way it did.’
The former sweethearts tied the knot at St Mary’s church in West Rainton, County Durham, last August before moving on to Beamish Hall hotel for their reception.
Prosecutor Sarah Traynor told Peterlee Magistrates Court that they went to their room just after midnight, with Miss Dawson having to be helped by a hotel porter.
‘The defendant then tried to undo Miss Dawson’s dress,’ she added. The bride had a crochet hook to unfasten the buttons but Golightly refused to use it.
‘The defendant then jumped up from his chair, approached Miss Dawson and pushed her over,’ said Mrs Traynor.
‘He then sat on top of her and started punching her with clenched fists. He then sat on top of her and started punching her with clenched fists.'
Golightly, from Sunderland, claimed he had been drugged and could not remember the attack.
But he pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm and was handed a community order requiring him to undergo supervision for two years.
He was also given a restraining order banning him from contacting Miss Dawson and told to pay her £200 in compensation, £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.
Miss Dawson said: ‘The community order was far too soft. The restraining order is the only thing keeping me strong. He means nothing to me now.’