A JEALOUS husband beset by depression who attempted to suffocate his wife has been jailed for six years.

Martin Tudor placed a pillow over his wife's face, preventing her from breathing, and then punched her repeatedly to the head shouting “I am going to finish you off once and for all” and “Die bastard die”.

The 46-year-old was said to suffer from pathological jealousy and his depression, allied with excessive drinking, had resulted in a number of aggressive and paranoid outbursts.

Teesside Crown Court heard that prior to the incident - on September 23 last year - Tudor had been seen in the street with an axe in his hand and had also threatened the victim with a hammer.

Prosecuting, Adrian Dent said the former ICI worker-turned taxi driver had downed seven cans of strong lager earlier that evening and resumed drinking before going up to his wife's bedroom at midnight and demanding where she had hidden the axe.

He then returned after his wife had drifted off to sleep and placed the pillow over her face, punching her and then holding her arms down.

He said: “The complainant struggled for her life and she thought she was going to be killed.”

Mr Dent said the victim eventually managed to get free and sought refuge in her daughter's bedroom, dialling 999.

Tudor, of Gunnergate Lane, Marton, Middlesbrough, wrongly believed his wife was having a series of affairs.

He admitted attempting to choke, strangle or suffocate his wife with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm.

The victim, who suffered bruising and haemorrhaging to her eye, said in a statement that she would “never get over what Martin did to me”.

She said she was going through divorce proceedings with Tudor after 21 years of marriage and still felt wary all the time.

Tudor, who was originally charged with attempted murder, had received a caution for assaulting his wife in 2008.

His barrister Robert Mochrie said Tudor was a man of large build who could have overpowered his wife if he wished, but he desisted.

He said: “He does deeply regret that evening and wishes he could turn the clock back.”

Tudor nodded as Judge Peter Armstrong spoke about his shame over the incident which he said must been terrifying for his wife.

He said the least sentence he could pass was six years. The defendant was also made subject to an indefinite restraining order preventing him from communicating with the victim.