A DRUNKEN 50-year-old Llanddarog man punched his wife in the face as she drove him to buy more alcohol, a court has been told.

Dennis Davies, prosecuting, told Llanelli magistrates Martin Thomas, of 34 Is y Llan, assaulted wife Susan after demanding that she take him to Carmarthen during the early evening of December 23.

He attacked her again when they reached the town centre.

Mr Davies said Thomas’ daughter contacted police at 7.20pm after being telephoned by her terrified mother, who had escaped when Thomas left the car to buy cigarettes.

Mr Davies told the court that when Mrs Thomas arrived home from work, Thomas, who was already drunk, “demanded that she drive him into Carmarthen town to buy more alcohol”.

“While she was driving, he lashed out at her and hit her in the face,” said Mr Davies.

When they reached a town car park, and despite numerous shoppers and revellers being in the close vicinity of the car, Thomas launched into another assault.

“He hit her again in the face a number of times,” said Mr Davies.

Thomas then demanded that his wife take him to a nearby newsagent to buy cigarettes.

When he went into the shop, Mrs Thomas sped away. Once at home she contacted her daughter.

In interview, Thomas told police he had drunk “a couple of large glasses of rose wine” at home before falling asleep.

He said that when Mrs Thomas arrived they had gone to Carmarthen together, but claimed he could not remember hitting her while she was driving. He said he may have “caught her with his elbow”.

Regarding the town centre assault, Thomas said his wife had “angered him and pushed him over the top”.

Peter Rees Jones, defending, told the court Jones, who admitted assault, had “alcohol issues”.

Magistrates said they considered the case very serious.

“The fact that you were assaulting her when she was driving on a public highway is an aggravating feature,” they said.

The case was adjourned for the completion of pre-sentence reports.