A FATHER sent his wife a picture of their five-year-old daughter asleep with a kitchen knife held to her throat, a court heard.

The 34-year-old man from the Five Valleys pleaded guilty to assault by beating and sending threatening text and picture messages when he appeared at Stroud Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

The court heard how the defendant, who cannot be named, assaulted his wife by putting his hands around her neck and then sent messages threatening her life and the life of their daughter on Monday, October 28.

Graham Dono, prosecuting, said the defendant, who was living apart from his wife, became aggressive during an arranged visit to pick up his daughter.

He accused his wife of being unfaithful and when he left, having taken the girl, the wife received unpleasant texts.

“The victim began to fear for her daughter’s wellbeing and asked her husband to bring her home,” explained Mr Dono.

The defendant told her to meet him alone at Gloucester cemetery, where he would return the child.

However, she agreed to meet at a more public location in the city.

The defendant arrived with the girl in the car and began walking towards her with outstretched arms, the court heard.

He then put his hand around her neck and began squeezing, said Mr Dono. Eventually she broke free, ran to her car and drove off without the girl, he added.

Mr Dono read out some of the texts sent later that night. One said ‘I will take great pleasure gripping your round the throat and telling you how much I hate you while you take your last breath’.

Others claimed he was ‘going to get his wife taken care of’ and that it would be ‘difficult being a mum in a wheelchair’.

The victim was frightened for her daughter’s safety and asked her husband to send a picture to show she was safe.

At this point she received a picture showing their daughter with her eyes closed with a large kitchen knife held to her throat, the court heard.

The next morning the defendant returned the girl unharmed.

Dave Brown, for the defence, said his client’s wife had not wanted the case to come to court and wanted the family back together.

The defendant did not fully recall sending the messages or the picture as he was under the influence of alcohol and stress, he added.

The man was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on Tuesday.