A POLICE officer who assaulted his wife, twice, has avoided jail.

Instead Sergeant Daniel Hughes, 40, from Basildon, was ordered to carry out community service - and pay his wife £300 in compensation.

Hughes, who worked for British Transport, was found guilty of assault on two separate occasions at Basildon Magistrate’s Court for sentencing yesterday.

Speaking to Hughes, Wendy Black chairman of the magistrates’ bench said: “These incidents took place in a domestic setting.

“We are giving you a community order for 30 days rehabilitation and you must complete 100 hours of unpaid work.

“If you fail to complete this your sentence will be increased.

“I am awarding the victim £300 compensation, you must also pay £200 towards the prosecution costs and and an £85 victim surcharge.

“I am enforcing a restraining order for 12 months, you are not to contact his wife, expect via Paula Hughes about child arrangements and divorce proceedings.

“You must not enter Norfolk Close, Basildon unless to collect personal belongings.”

Mitigating, Richard Atchley asked for six months for Hughes to pay the fines.

He said: “He is in a negative financial situation.

“He is unemployed and has no income.

“He has ambition to get back in the saddle and find work.

“His father will pay £50 a month starting in seven days.”

Hughes was found guilty following a trial at Basildon Magistrate’s Court.

Hughes, who noes live in Russells Wide, Herts, was originally charged with five offences, however he was later found not guilty of one count of criminal damage, one count of assault by beating and one count of common assault.

The assault incidents took place when Hughes was off duty.

He is from Basildon, but was based in London as an officer.

A spokesman for the BTP said: “Sergeant Daniel Hughes was found guilty of two counts of assault in relation to two incidents while off duty in July 2018 and October 2018. Sgt Hughes was placed on restricted duties following his arrest and charge.

“The Force’s Professional Standards Department will now review the findings against the standards of professional behaviour and the Code of Ethics.” Anyone suffering domestic violence can call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

Detective Superintendent Gill Murray from British Transport Police, added: “Police officers are never above the law and it was deeply regrettable that one of our officers was convicted of multiple counts of assault. Daniel Hughes has since left British Transport Police.

“His behaviour does not reflect the values of Force, had he remained in service he would have been subjected to a rigorous misconduct process which would have determined his suitability to remain employed as a serving police officer.”