Husband accused of holding knife to wife's throat

Sam Fearn, 19, of Genesta Drive, Thurston, near Bury St Edmunds was given a suspended sentence at Ipswich Crown Court

Antonio Abrantes de Encarnacao has gone on trial at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Charlotte Bond

A Haverhill man has gone on trial accused of controlling his wife, including making threats to kill her and holding a knife to her throat. 

Antonio Abrantes de Encarnacao, 48, allegedly engaged in controlling or coercive behaviour between April 4, 2020, and October 9, 2020, by monitoring his wife's phone, making numerous threats to kill her, holding a knife to her throat and using abusive language. 

He is also facing a charge of common assault against his wife between May 31 and June 5, 2020, and a further count of assault by beating against her on August 18, 2020. 

Abrantes de Encarnacao, of Recreation Road, Haverhill, has denied all the charges. 

Ipswich Crown Court heard on Wednesday how the couple met in 2006 and moved to the UK from Portugal. 

They originally lived in Saffron Walden, Essex, before moving to Haverhill. 

Under cross examination from defence barrister Richard Conley on the second day of the trial, Abrantes de Encarnacao's wife, Sueli Abrantes, told the court through a Portuguese interpreter that there had "always been a lot of tension" in the couple's marriage. 

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The jury heard that Mrs Abrantes had two children from a previous relationship.

Giving evidence from the witness box, Mrs Abrantes told the jury her children were treated well by Abrantes de Encarnacao although "he could be rude verbally". 

In 2015, Mrs Abrantes went to Brazil to settle some family affairs after her father died, the court heard. 

The couple talked about divorce during this time, and Mrs Abrantes said her husband was "friendly" during exchanges over text message but "wasn't so friendly face-to-face". 

However, after Mrs Abrantes became pregnant, the couple decided to continue with their relationship because she said she believed it would give him "an opportunity to change". 

Mrs Abrantes told the jury her husband was "always loving towards his baby" but "still rude and unpleasant with me". 

The court heard that the couple were then both injured in a motorcycle accident, and Mrs Abrantes was forced to give up work as a nursing assistant. 

Mr Conley asked Mrs Abrantes whether it was true that her husband was working two jobs to support the family, including night shifts. 

Mrs Abrantes said he was working but also spent time in front of a computer gambling and "wasting family money".

The trial continues.