A PENSIONER beat up his wife of 57 years after he flew into a rage over a bottle of washing up liquid.

John Sullivan, aged 78, of Shillingten Close, Little Hulton,, wanted to do the washing up but was unable to find the bottle, a court heard.

His wife Jackie, aged 77, showed him where it was saying “If you did it more often you would know”.

The remark triggered off several minutes of “sustained violence” by Sullivan who punched her countless times about the head and face.

During the attack he took an overdose of drugs and while she was calling an ambulance for him he continued hitting her.

Prosecutor Matthew Treece, told Manchester City Magistrates Court: “At one stage he held her in a headlock and bit one of her fingers.”

Despite her ordeal she told the 999 operator that nothing was happening, it was said.

Mrs Sullivan who is 5 foot 1 inches and of slight build, suffered swelling to her head and face, a cut finger and bruised arms.

Sullivan admitted assaulting his wife on March 2.

He was given a six month community order with supervision and £100 compensation to his wife.

The couple are no longer living together after the court imposed a 12 month restraining order on Sullivan banning him from having any contact with his wife. She had asked for the order.

Passing sentence Chairman Joseph Fitzpatrick said: “It is always sad dealing with domestic violence — even more so when the parties have been together 57 years”.

David Philpott, defending, said Sullivan who had suffered a stroke in 2004 was very remorseful and distressed by what he had done.

The court heard that he was of hitherto good character. In the past there had been police call outs to his home but they did not result in any criminal charges.