An army recruitment officer with 17 years frontline experience has appeared in court after assaulting his wife in front of their two children.

Darren Brigden, who has been stationed in Croydon for the past 18 months helping with recruitment, was at Croydon Magistrates Court this morning for sentencing after pleading guilty to assault and a drink drive offence.

The court heard how Brigden, from Northolt, Middlesex, was attending his sister-in-law’s wedding in Chepstow, Wales on May 5 this year with his family when he became involved in a row with his wife, the maid of honour, in their hotel room.

Cathy McCulloch, prosecuting, said: "His wife said to him the relationship they were in was over. He sat close to her and repeatedly called her a slut. She slapped him in the face. She remembers being picked up sand thrown around the room like a rag doll. Her two children witnessed the whole thing. She was hit on both sides of the face and suffered bruising and cuts to her neck."

His wife fled to her family’s room and a second altercation erupted as they confronted Brigden.

He drove off but was stopped by police who breathalysed him, found him over the limit and arrested him.

Brigden was later charged with assault – he pleaded guilty to both offences.

Defending him Mr Howell told the court Brigden, who has done terms of service in Iraq and Afghanistan, had a previously unblemished record, did work in the community and did not know what caused him to snap.

Mr Howell suggested it could be case of post-traumatic stress.

The court also heard his wife of 11 years,, who Brigden had suspected of cheating, has since reunited with him.

District Judge Robert Hunter sentenced the 36-year-old to 98 hours community service over the common assault and disqualified him from driving for 12 months.

He was fined £300, ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge and £85 in court costs for a total of £400.