The estranged wife of former motorcycle stuntman Eddie Kidd has been jailed for five months after admitting to assaulting him.

Samantha Kidd, 44, from Seaford, East Sussex, pleaded guiltily to four counts of assault before she was due to start a two-day trial in June.

Brighton Magistrates Court heard how Mrs Kidd would slap, throttle, kick and call her husband a "f*****g spastic" as part of the abuse.

In one incident, Mrs Kidd landed a series of punches on her husband's face and body after he woke her up.

One witness of the incident said Mrs Kidd appeared to have "lost the plot" and had to be forced off him after she shouted "For f***s sake, Eddie. How do you expect me to sleep?"

The stuntman, who was left paralysed and brain-damaged after an accident in 1996, said he would be left shaking and "absolutely hysterical" by her actions.

Opening the case, Suzanne Soros, prosecuting, said: "The Crown says this was a course of conduct against a man who is suffering with severe disability.

"He was completely unable to defend himself from the attack from Sam or take any action to protect his face or head."

In a separate incident, Mrs Kidd slapped her husband across the face in "retaliation" for his hand coming off a rail and touching her. A witness also described how she heard Mr Kidd's cries and found his wife's hands around his throat.

Upon sentencing, judge William Ashworth said she had committed an "abuse of trust and power".

He added: "These four assaults on Eddie Kidd represent a pattern of violent behaviour towards your husband which, taken together, are in the highest bracket for sentencing guidelines because your husband was particularly vulnerable and due to the repeated assaults on a disabled person.

"Whatever you felt about his disability, you didn't shy away from raining six punches on him or slapping, kicking and throttling him so much that you had to be pulled off him."

Det Const Jamie Pooley said: "I am delighted with this sentence for Kidd who admitted assaulting her husband between July and October last year. This was a very sensitive matter but I am particularly pleased that she has been brought to justice and she did admit her guilt.

"I would like to thank everyone who came forward and helped to support police action in this case. This is unacceptable behaviour and we never tolerate domestic violence of any kind whether it be against a man or a woman.

"The judge said Kidd had shown reprehensible behaviour against a very vulnerable victim who had not been able to defend himself and who had been left very shocked by her actions."