AN ABUSIVE dad was so unconcerned about allegations he had smashed his ex’s windows with a claw hammer that he began reading a book during his police interview.

Dion Whyte left his partner of 17 years and their two children so terrified that the woman has since had to switch bedrooms with her nine-year-old son.

The 43-year-old has been jailed for 23 months for what a Swindon judge labelled a terrifying episode.

Swindon Crown Court heard that Whyte stormed round to the family home on Shaftesbury Avenue, Park South, at around 5am on July 12 last year.

He knocked on the front door. Whyte’s ex leant out of her bedroom window and told him to leave.

Whyte walked back to his car and picked up a claw hammer from the footwell. He smashed out the windows from the woman’s car – resulting in the vehicle being written off.

Alec Small, prosecuting, said Whyte’s ex had not dared to go downstairs. She was joined by two of her children who had been woken by the commotion.

After failing to smash the front windscreen, Whyte turned his attention to the bay window at the front of the house – hammering through each of the three panes of glass.

When he was interviewed by police he made no comment – even bringing a page turner to read instead of answering detectives’ questions.

In a victim personal statement read to the court, Whyte’s ex said he had been bullying and controlling towards her and the children.

The couple’s son – just nine-years-old – had been particularly affected by the incident and now feared he would be “grabbed” by his dad.

She said: “Since the incident happened over a year ago I have been stressed, depressed and very anxious.” The woman had been advised by hospital doctors against giving evidence at the trial in case it caused her anxiety to spiral further.

Whyte, of David Street, Bristol, admitted affray on the day of his trial.

Defending, Derek Perry said his client had stayed out of trouble since being sent to prison shortly after the offence on an unrelated suspended sentence. He was now in work, had accommodation and had approached his GP in an effort to get help with his mental health.

Whyte had shown “he can behave himself”, the barrister said.

Judge Taylor acknowledged Whyte had taken positive steps, but said the affray was so serious it warranted an immediate prison sentence.

He said: “The whole episode must have been terrifying for those inside [the house].

“On any view this is extremely serious. It was committed at night, it involved a weapon, children were present, it was sustained and to some degree planned.”

The judge made a restraining order banning contact until Whyte’s son’s 18th birthday in 2028.