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Lynton hotelier who beat wife was just like the Incredible Hulk

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: September 21, 2012

CRIME SCENE: The Crown Hotel, where the assault took place.

AN ANGRY hotelier looked like the Incredible Hulk as he assaulted his wife during a late night row, a court was told.

Witnesses said Phillip Cook tore his shirt apart and was tense and growling during the confrontation at Lynton's Crown Hotel.

Magistrates heard he also smashed his wife Carol's mobile phone with a cricket bat as she tried to call police.

Cook, 46, denied assaulting Carol Cook at the Crown Hotel in the early hours of May 13.

He said he was trying to get his wife to bed before guests arrived to avoid poor Trip Advisor reviews.

Mrs Cook told North Devon Magistrates' Court she and her husband had been married 24 years but had been experiencing relationship problems.

On the evening of May 12 she walked into the Village Inn in Lynmouth and found her husband with another woman.

After an argument she returned to the Crown Hotel to close up the bar and have a drink with her friend, Abigail Sim.

The court heard Cook returned home sometime around 3am and retreated to his private study with the woman his wife had confronted.

He was joined by hotel worker Joseph Stephens and another woman.

Mrs Cook and Miss Sim then entered the room and a scuffle quickly broke out.

Mr Stephens said Cook seemed to change and described him as looking like something from Marvel comics' Incredible Hulk.

He said: "His eyes changed and he was growling and tensing up. He ripped his shirt off. I got scared."

Mrs Cook said she was thrown across the room by her husband at least three or four times.

But Cook insisted he had acted in self-defence and said his wife had attacked him first.

He told magistrates he was proficient in aikido and was using a minimum force move to hold his wife back.

Mrs Cook said she tried to phone the police using a land line but her husband ripped it from the wall to prevent her from doing so.

She then took her mobile phone from her handbag but said Cook threw it on the floor before smashing it up with a cricket bat.

The court heard during the scuffle Mrs Cook grabbed her husband by a gold necklace round his neck and he bit her hand to make her let go.

Mrs Cook became tearful as she described how her husband dragged her out of the room to the bottom of the stairs leading up to their flat and began to strangle her.

She said: "He pinned me down with one hand and I thought he was going to hit me. I thought if he hit me he was going to kill me. I screamed and asked him to stop."

Cook insisted he was not violent to his wife, telling prosecutor David Barnes: "You don't hit your wife, full stop. I have never hit a woman ever.

"At no stage was I violent towards her. What part of that are you not understanding, sir?"

But magistrates said they felt the evidence given by three witnesses was clear, robust and consistent and said Cook's account was not convincing.

He was found guilty of assault by beating and was released on bail until his sentencing on October 8.

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