A Royal Marine has been jailed for using his car to mow down his wife after a domestic dispute in the centre of Redruth.

Thomas Higgins, based at RNAS Culdrose at the time, was filmed on local authority CCTV as he revved up the Kia Sportage and deliberately aimed it at his wife Tammy, who flew ten feet and left a dent in the bonnet.

She was able to get up and hobble away without serious injury and the couple were later reconciled. She did not help the police or support the prosecution and wrote a letter to the Judge asking for him to be spared a jail sentence.

Plymouth-based NCO Higgins, aged 40, admitted dangerous driving but denied attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent. He was found guilty by a jury at Truro Crown Court in January.

He was jailed for three years by Judge Peter Johnson, sitting at Exeter Crown Court, and disqualified from driving for 16 months after his release.

The sentence means that his wife and family are likely to be made homeless because they are living in service accommodation which they will lose when Higgins is dismissed from the Royal Marines.

The judge told him: “This is a very sad sentencing exercise and one which I have approached with an extremely heavy heart. I am aware of the effect of the sentence but I am obliged to follow sentencing guidelines.

“You are a man who is in the Royal Marines and has been serving his country for a number of years and were spoken of highly by two officers who have provided references. You are a man of good character.

“At about 8.40 am on May 7 last year you were driving in Redruth and you and your wife Tammy had a disagreement which led to her getting out in High Dudgeon. You drove past her and parked.

“It is clear from the CCTV there was a further conflict and harsh words in which she told you to f*** off and struck the car. She set off in full view of you. She went past your car and was crossing the road when you revved the car and set off.

“You went over the pavement and struck her with some force, causing her to fly through the air for ten or 12 feet. Mercifully, while she caused a dent in the car, it did not cause her too much damage and she was able to walk off, or hobble of as one eye witness put it.

“You got out to help her but it is clear you made no effort to brake before the collision. As you readily accepted when you gave evidence, this could have caused her extremely serious injury in the form of broken bones or even worse damage to her head and possible death.”

Mr Ryan Murray, prosecuting, said the incident took place in Basset Street and Bond Street in Redruth and was captured on town centre CCTV as well as being witnessed by passers-by.

He said Higgins had used his car as a weapon during the assault but that his wife had no suffered a serious injury and had not made a complaint or written an personal statement.

Miss Francesca Whebell, defending, said Higgins had been under some pressure at the time due to the strain of parenting a child with ADHD.

He had been due for promotion this year but his career had been set back by an injury which he suffered in an attack in Glasgow in which part of one ear was bitten off leading to him needing reconstructive surgery.

She said dismissal from the forces would follow automatically on any immediate jail sentence and is likely to have drastic effects on his family who will lose their accommodation and be made homeless with little chance of finding anywhere else without his income.