A Portuguese man has received a 14-month prison sentence for threatening his family with a garden fork at his Croydon home in November last year.
Vitor Silva Santos Arauja, 59, was sentenced at Croydon Crown Court on Wednesday (March 25) after the court heard how he got drunk and angry when he wanted to set up a Christmas tree for his grandchildren in the house he shared with his ex-wife.
The exact details of the altercation were not made clear, but Arauja admitted to acting aggressively towards his ex-wife and stepdaughters, and to threatening them with a garden fork. Arauja then suffered a deflated lung when he was being overpowered by his family and made his way to hospital in “great pain”, where he was treated, before being arrested.
Given his guilty plea, Arauja was given a reduced sentence of 14 months, seven to be served in prison and the other seven on license.
“You used a garden fork to force your way into the bedroom of your wife,” said judge Alastair Wilson QC. “She and her daughter feared for their life. A threat with this weapon is a most serious offence.”
Arauja was also issued with a restraining order, prohibiting him from contacting his ex-wife and stepdaughters directly or indirectly, and from entering Godson Road.
He moved to the UK in 2010, and his ex-wife followed him a year later. They lived together in a rented property on Godson Road in Croydon, where they slept in separate rooms. The couple married eight years ago in what Arauja said was a “marriage of convenience”. The defence said Arauja “has no desire to reconcile with his estranged wife”.
Upon serving his sentence, Arauja wants to return to Portugal.
By Sebastian Kettley and Lamees Altalebi