A MAN has spoken out in defence of his son, who has been jailed for assault and false imprisonment.

Wroughton dad Mark Eatwell, 44, who was sentenced to four years, is appealing the decision.

His father Alan, 76, claims the sentence is too harsh.

The incident occurred overnight between April 6 and 7 last year, when Eatwell’s former partner, Jayne-Anne Murray, went to his home address to spend time with his son.

Eatwell then proceeded to keep her in the house against her will for several hours and physically assaulted her.

Alan is now concerned about the future of Mark’s 16-year-old son, who was present at the time of the offence.

“The solicitor is going to appeal against the decision,” he said. “I have written a letter to the court in Mark’s defence, because what has come out of court does not reflect what happened and does not give his side of things.

“He has had letters go to the court from his doctor, and he has got a full-time job now. He was working and everything was going in the right direction to get him back on his feet. He had been staying here with his boy for some time before he moved into his place.

“This is completely hanging him out to dry over a domestic disturbance. His son is at a critical age now. He is 16 years old, just about to finish all his exams and leaving school. He wants to go to college, but they have stopped his life in its tracks. I have always been there for him but he needs his father, and Mark should be there.”

Alan said Mark had been on medication to calm him down, which had seen some benefits.

“I am dead against anyone hitting women because that is cowardly, but Mark is not that way inclined,” he said. “What has gone against him is unbelievable. We were expecting for him to get a suspended sentence or a fine, but now I am completely disillusioned by the sentence.

“There is no compassion to separate a father from his son at that age.”

Speaking after the hearing, investigating officer DC Sonia Marsh said the sentencing was fair, considering the severity of the offence, and praised Jayne-Anne for speaking out.

“The behaviour of Mark Eatwell on the night of the incident was vile and cowardly,” she said.

“Jayne-Anne Murray suffered a horrific and sustained attack which has had a huge effect on her life.

“The courage she has shown throughout the investigation and during the court case is admirable.

“Wiltshire Police support victims of domestic violence and we encourage victims to come forward.”

Jayne-Anne added: “I want to get across to people not to put up with domestic violence. No-one has the right to do that to you. I want all the victims of domestic violence to know that when you do come forward and report the abuse you will get the help you need. I urge people to report abuse, don’t put up with it .”