TV star antiques dealer, his lover’s husband and a pub punch-up
A CELEBRITY antiques dealer was attacked by the furious husband of a woman with whom he had had an affair, a court heard yesterday.
Businessman Janus Thomas, 47, flew into a rage and punched Drew Pritchard, who stars in the television programme Salvage Hunters, when he ‘ smirked’ at him in a pub beer garden.
There was bad feeling between the men after Thomas’s wife, Amanda, 45, had an affair with Mr Pritchard, 47, who she met because their teenage sons were best friends.
Magistrates in Llandudno, north Wales, were told that the liaison ended two and a half years ago when Mr Pritchard warned Mrs Thomas that their fling was about to be exposed.
She broke off the affair and confessed to her husband, who agreed to forgive his wife and give their marriage another go.
But in April this year, Mr Pritchard texted Mrs Thomas and accused her husband of being a ‘coward’, the court heard.
She showed him the message and when Thomas saw Mr Pritchard in the beer garden of the Liverpool Arms in Conwy, north Wales, he ‘snapped’.
Mr Pritchard told police: ‘ He [Thomas] flew across the picnic table, he shouted something that sounded threatening.
‘It caught me totally by surprise. I saw a fist coming towards my face, it caught me on the left of my head, near my ear. He was repeatedly coming at me from above with a lot of force. It caused me to fall backwards into the doorway of the pub. I was flat on my back.’
Mr Pritchard suffered bruising, pains in his jaw and teeth and a small cut to his elbow.
The court heard that Mr Pritchard, who has since divorced wife Rebecca, 58, who co-presents the antiques show, was having affairs with other women while seeing Mrs Thomas.
Michael Gray, defending Thomas, said: ‘Mrs Thomas received harassing text messages from other women who had been seeing Mr Pritchard, accusing her of
‘He saw red, he lost control’
breaking up their relationships and being extremely hurtful to her.’
Mr Gray said the Thomases worked hard to repair their marriage and protect their two teenage children from the fallout.
On the night of the assault in July, Thomas, the managing director of a successful crane hire company, was out in Conwy when he saw Mr Pritchard.
‘Mr Pritchard smirked at him… he was laughing at him, belittling him, making him feel inadequate,’ Mr Gray said.
‘All of a sudden Mr Thomas saw red. This man who had…betrayed a family friendship had then smirked at him. Knowing that he had called him a coward… he lost control.’
Mr Gray said Thomas, who has a previous conviction for assault, was ashamed of his behaviour, but added: ‘Mr Pritchard is not without fault.’
Since the attack Mr Pritchard had sent another text message to Thomas, again accusing him of being a ‘coward’, the lawyer said. Mr Pritchard had been warned by police to stop such behaviour, the court heard. Mr Pritchard’s request for a restraining order against Thomas, who has been banned from all pubs in the area following the attack, was rejected by JPs.
Mr Gray said of Thomas: ‘It has taken a huge amount of resolve to get him and his wife here today and for that reason I suggest he has been punished enough.’
He added: ‘He has been tormented by Mr Pritchard.’
Thomas, of Holywell, north Wales, admitted assault and threatening behaviour and was fined £1,440. He was also ordered to pay Mr Pritchard £100 compensation, plus a victim surcharge of £96 and court costs of £85.
Mrs Thomas, who attended court and left hand-in-hand with her husband, was tearful at the end of the hearing.
Salvage Hunters, which is broadcast on the Freeview channel Quest, is a fly- on-the-wall- style programme which follows Mr Pritchard around stately homes, old schools and factories, buying antiques.