A DUNFERMLINE man attacked his wife violently in her home when he suspected she was having an affair after they separated.

The woman was grabbed by the hair, forced upstairs and her husband sat on top of her, while holding a knife. There was a struggle and the victim suffered a cut.

The shocking assault was carried out by 51-year-old David Marshall, of Sycamore Grove, leading to him appearing in the dock at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

He admitted that on May 25, at an address in Dunfermline, he assaulted his wife by taking hold of her hair whilst holding a kitchen knife, forcibly directed her upstairs, pushed her onto a bed and sat astride her, to her injury.

Depute fiscal Azrah Yousaf said the incident occurred when Marshall accused his estranged wife of having an affair and picked up a kitchen knife with a 20-centimetre blade.

Grabbing her by the hair, Marshall forced his wife upstairs, put her on the bed and sat astride her.

The terrified woman was screaming, the court was told. She struggled with him and sustained a cut to her finger inflicted by the knife.

Marshall then handed the knife to his wife, who ran downstairs and out of the property. She phoned her sister, who then contacted the police.

“When police attended, they found the complainer in the street. She was distressed and had a cut to her finger,” added the depute.

Defence solicitor Peter Robertson said: “He accepts this would have been a very frightening experience for the complainer.”

When the solicitor said there had been a “fidelity issue”, Sheriff Charles MacNair interrupted.

“How could it be a fidelity issue when they were separated?” he asked.

“In his head,” answered the solicitor. He added the couple had known each other for 22 years.

Sheriff Charles MacNair told Marshall: “This was a very, very unpleasant and serious incident. You were holding a knife as you forced your former wife upstairs.

“You had separated from her but you were trying to control her behaviour. The only thing that is stopping you from you starting a custodial sentence is your lack of record. If you had a record, you would be on your way to Perth prison.”

Instead, the sheriff imposed a community payback order with two years’ supervision, 270 hours of unpaid work and £500 compensation.