A callous husband who turned off the power of his disabled wife's wheelchair because he resented being her carer has been prosecuted for emotionally abusing her.

John Cooper left his vulnerable partner, Joie, stranded in the chair in their bungalow home through the cruel act.

Over a 16 day period the 76-year-old also put the wheelchair out of reach of her, threatened to hit her with her walking stick, denied her food, physically shook her and took the TV remote control off her.

A court heard Mrs Cooper, 80, became ever reliant on her common-law husband of 43 years after she was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and lost her mobility several years ago.

But Cooper "became increasingly resentful of her helplessness" culminating in the bout of emotional abuse and controlling behaviour.

The episode came to light when Mrs Cooper was visited by an occupational therapist on January 16 last year and she noticed the pensioner was "withdrawn and anxious".

Mrs Cooper confided to carer Esther Fox about how her husband had been cruel and violent towards her over several weeks and she was scared to live at their bungalow in Poole, Dorset.

At that point Cooper started shouting more abuse from the bedroom "seemingly unaware" Miss Fox was still in the house.

Cooper initially pleaded not guilty to engaging in controlling/coercive behaviour in an intimate relationship but changed his plea at Poole Magistrates' Court.

Jessica Price, prosecuting, said Miss Fox held Mrs Cooper's hand as she cried.

Cooper then walked past the room they were in shouting more abuse before he picked up a pair of scissors which he pointed at Miss Fox in a threatening manner.

When she left the house she reported the matter and police attended and arrested Cooper who became angry and initially refused to leave with officers.

Miss Price said: "Mrs Cooper had been confined to a wheelchair since losing mobility to her left side years ago.

"She needs assistance dressing and toileting and relied on external carers visiting daily.

"The defendant became increasingly resentful of her helplessness and became physically abusive and controlling towards her.

"The alleged behaviour includes taking the TV remote control away from her so she could watch TV, ignoring her for substantial periods, shouting abuse and derogatory comments such as 'you would be better off dead', being rough in his handling of the complainant, moving the wheelchair away from her or turning the power off on the wheelchair so she's helpless, violently shaking the wheelchair with her on it and threatening her with violence with a walking stick."

The court heard Cooper had no previous convictions although he did have a police caution two years before this incident for common assault against Mrs Cooper.

David Hurley, defending, said his client has since been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

Mr Hurley said: "This was a long relationship which clearly hit the buffers at the end but both partners are of an advanced age and suffer health difficulties.

"There were carers that came in but they were not there most of the day and Mr Cooper had to undertake cooking, shopping, cleaning and try to assist her with going to the toilet.

"Life became very difficult for him. Clearly he has stepped over the mark but against the background of those difficulties.

"This is a very unusual case."

Mrs Cooper has since been moved to a care home and Cooper has not been told her location.

District Judge Stephen Nicholls said he knows how debilitating Alzheimer's can be and only imposed a 12-month conditional discharge and a restraining order preventing him from contacting her other than through his son to arrange any matters relating to their property for 18 months.