British duke's son gets two years in prison for beating wife

Feb. 7, 2014 at 12:31 AM
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BRISTOL, England, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- A younger son of one of England's noble families was sentenced to two years behind bars Thursday for beating his wife.

Lord Edward Somerset, 55, second son of the duke of Beaufort, his face covered with stubble, showed little emotion during sentencing in Bristol Crown Court, the Daily Mirror reported. He pleaded guilty in December.

Judge Mark Horton also banned Somerset from seeing his wife, Lady Caroline Somerset, who now lives in Australia.

"Some might think this is a case involving a tale of two tragedies -- a tragedy of a man born to privilege and almost limitless opportunities whose life has been marred and destroyed by ­addiction to alcohol and Class A drugs and an uncontrollable temper," Horton said. "The tragedy this court is concerned with is the tragedy for your wife of 22 years of repeated and deliberate violence. On many occasions this was fueled by, or caused by, your spiral and descent into various addictions."

Caroline Somerset was hospitalized in Bristol after an assault in 2012. Staffers at Frenchay Hospital notified police of possible domestic violence.

Somerset admitted attacks dating back to 1991 at his estate in Gloucestershire and on vacation in France.

He is the second son of the 11th duke of Beaufort.

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