‘Despicable’ man who attacked his wife in lockdown threatened police with concrete block during homophobic tirade

Mark Palmer: Man jailed after attacking wife and hurling anti-gay slurs

Cambridge man Mark Palmer has been jailed after attacking his wife in self-isolation and hurling a homophobic slur at police while threatening them with a concrete block.

Palmer, 55, admitted charges which included common assault at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on Friday, April 3. He has been sentenced 42 weeks in prison.

Cambridgeshire Police told the BBC that, breaking social distancing advice, Palmer went out drinking with a friend on April 1 before inviting the friend back home with him.

His wife had been out shopping, and when she returned, she challenged her husband about his dangerous behaviour and said that he was putting her at risk of contracting COVID-19 by breaching lockdown.

An argument ensued, and Palmer grabbed his wife’s head, pushing her to the floor and pouring beer over her. She managed to escape to the garden but he caught up with her, grabbing her neck and pushing her to the ground again.

He then spit in her face and told her: “I hope you get coronavirus and die.”

When police arrived to arrest Mark Palmer he assaulted them, then threatened them with a concrete block lifted above his head. He had to be disarmed using an incapacitant spray, but still managed to spit at the police officers.

He hurled a homophobic comment and said to them: “I’m going to give you all coronavirus.”

As well as the common assault charge for attacking his wife, Palmer was also charged with two counts of criminal damage, two counts of assault by beating against an emergency worker, possession of class B drugs and an offence under the public order act at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court.

Detective constable Sean Clery told ITV: “This was a despicable incident where Palmer used excessive violence and made vile comments regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

Tensions are running high between family members during coronavirus lockdown, putting LGBT+ people especially at risk.

LGBT+ helplines have seen a surge in calls from people who are stuck self-isolating with abusive family and partners, and an LGBT+ charity has even suggested that people “hit pause” on coming out during this time. 

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