A DIVORCED husband has been jailed for barging his way into his ex-wife’s Christmas dinner celebrations and attacking her new partner with a baseball bat.

Gary Barlow was in dispute with his ex over who should have their two children at Christmas and turned up at her home in Rockbeare as the family were half way through their festive meal.

He pushed past her as she opened the door and went into the dining room while brandishing a baseball bat.

His ex-wife’s partner Mark Forrest bundled him out of the house but he then used the bat to lay into him.

He suffered severe bruising to his side and legs and the attack only stopped because neighbours helped to disarm him.

Barlow went on to carry out a terrifying attack on a policeman who he held on the ground in a chokehold for so long that the officer thought he was going to die.

Barlow, aged 46, of Slade Barton Cottage, Payhembury, admitted causing actual bodily harm and assaulting an emergency worker and was jailed for 42 weeks by Judge Anna Richardson at Exeter Crown Court.

She told him the sentence would have been longer but for his history of mental health problems and likely diagnosis of a psychotic illness.

Miss Victoria Bastock, prosecuting, said Barlow’s seven-year-long marriage ended in 2015 and there had been ongoing issues of access.

He turned up at her home at 3.30pm on Christmas Day, 2021, and pushed his way past her. Mr Forrest filmed him with the baseball bat before ejecting him from the property but was then attacked with the weapon.

Barlow went on to attack a police sergeant who asked him to move on after finding him sleeping rough in a graveyard in Exeter.

He refused to go and swore repeatedly until he was arrested, at which point he became violent and attacked the officer, getting him to the ground, putting his finger in his mouth and trying to throttle him.

The Sergeant used his incapacitant spray to get him off but later said in an impact statement that he thought he was going to die.

Mr Nick Lewin, defending, said Barlow suffered from anxiety and depression before the break up of his marriage, which triggered a serious breakdown. He said Barlow felt he had lost everything during the separation.

He said he had lived a law abiding life until Christmas Day 2021 and wants to return to work so he can continue to support his children.