A FIFTEEN pints-a-night man who drunkenly attacked his ex-wife and her lover with a hammer was saved from prison yesterday after going on the wagon.

George Craggs, 46, stopped drinking immediately after his arrest and lost three stones, said Dan Cordey, defending.

He was divorced from Gayle Craggs, 43, after more than 20-years of marriage but continued to do jobs for her at her County Durham home, said prosecutor Richard Cowen.

Craggs was not pleased when she told him she had formed a relationship with Peter Ree, 50.

The couple were awakened by a crashing sound at the front door, Teesside Crown Court was told.

Mrs Craggs went downstairs and found a hammer coming through the door, and then Craggs struck her with it on the arms a couple of times.

He pushed past her and struck Mr Ree across the head.

Craggs was arrested and spent two nights in police custody and was released into a bail hostel in Middlesbrough.

Mr Cordey said: "He was drinking 12 to 15 pints a night. That acted as a catalyst and he lost his self control. He has now got his life back together and is highly motivated to remain sober."

Craggs of Newlands Road, Trimdon Village, was given a two-year community rehabilitation order with domestic violence and citizenship courses after admitting affray, common assault on his ex-wife and actual bodily harm on Mr Ree on October 6.

A charge of aggravated burglary which he denied was left on the court file.