Tony says: ‘Tracy would have huge mood swings. She’d ring me up at work, wanting to know where I was, why I was seeing my friends and calling me names.
‘She was extremely house-proud. At home, whenever I sat down, she’d shout at me for not helping with the housework. If I did so much as put a spoon in the sink, instead of straight into the dishwasher, she’d have a go at me.
‘At first, it was every weekend. Then her tempers became virtually every night, so I dreaded going home.
She was a Jekyll and Hyde. She’d hit me, then act like nothing had happened, or say I’d made her do it.’
Tony tried not to respond, but this seemed to enrage his wife even more, especially when he moved into the spare room to avoid her.
‘She’d kick me or square up to me when she was having one of her meltdowns. Once, as we were unloading the shopping, she hit me on the head with a can of baked beans. On another occasion, she hit me in the face with the head of the vacuum cleaner.
‘If I didn’t get up when she wanted, she’d punch me or pour a jug of water over the bed.’ She also dug her nails into his windpipe, he says.
Tony insists he never defended himself — except when Tracy put a knife to his throat for not doing enough to help around the house.