N.H. man beat wife for decades


MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) – An elderly man accused of beating and abusing his wife for four decades was sentenced Wednesday to four to 15 years in prison for assault.

Peter Gage, 72, was arrested in February 2004 and accused of beating and choking his wife, Mary, 75. She told authorities that she had been abused for many years, including being strangled to the point of unconsciousness and kept locked in her room without food and water.

“I wanted to stand up to him, but I didn’t know if I would say anything that would make things worse,” Mary Gage said in court. “I feel a tremendous load off my head, that I can finally say what he did to me.”

Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Carol Ann Conboy, who had ordered a review of Gage’s mental health, had said it was one of saddest cases she had presided over.

Peter Gage had pleaded guilty to beating his wife as part of a plea bargain. As part of his sentence, he has to stay away from Mary Gage, who has filed for divorce.

The couple’s son, Lyman Gage, also had been accused of following his father’s abusive example. He pleaded guilty last month to misdemeanor charges of simple assault and criminal threatening and received two suspended sentences.

Polics said medical reports showed that Mary Gage suffered numerous injuries over the years, including fractures to her ribs, clavicle, hip and a bone near her eye.