CPS North East - Domestic Abuse prosecutions - January 2023
Below are examples of DA cases successfully prosecuted by CPS North East in January.
The parties had been in a relationship for a while and the defendant had been previously convicted of violence against the victim. Following reconciliation, the defendant was again violent towards his partner. This resulted in a seven-day Crown Court trial where the victim gave evidence. The defendant was convicted after trial of two assault offences. He received a four-year custodial sentence, and the victim was granted an indefinite restraining order.
The defendant initially pleaded not guilty to numerous offences including affray, criminal damage and assault against his ex-partner. Before trial at the Crown Court the defendant indicated pleas to most of the offences but again denied the assault. This was unacceptable to the prosecution and the victim. At trial the assault was replaced by a protection from harassment offence. This was acceptable to the prosecution and the victim. The defendant entered guilty pleas and was sentenced to a total of two years and six months’ custody in respect of all offences. The victim was also granted a restraining order for five years.
The defendant elected trial to the Crown Court after initially pleading not guilty to assaults on two different victims. On reviewing the body worn camera footage at a preliminary hearing at the Crown Court the defendant changed his pleas to guilty for both offences, saving both victims from being called to trial as witnesses. The defendant was given a nine-month custodial sentence, suspended for 18 months, as well as 25 rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR) days and 150 hours’ work in the community.
The defendant had been in a relationship with the victim for six years. On the breakdown of the relationship, the defendant was convicted of criminal damage to his ex-partner’s property and a restraining order was granted by the court. The day after the restraining order was imposed the defendant attended his ex-partner’s address, in breach of this order. He also committed other new offences. The victim gave evidence at trial and the defendant was convicted of breaching the restraining order, burglary, criminal damage, and theft. The defendant was sentenced to 26 weeks’ imprisonment and ordered to pay the victim £100 compensation.
The defendant was charged with witness intimidation and breach of a non-molestation order. The victims in this case are partners, the defendant being an ex-partner of one of the victims with whom the defendant has a son. The case was listed for trial, both victims attended but an independent witness was unable to be traced and failed to attend. Nevertheless, the trial proceeded, and the victims gave evidence. The Magistrates found the defendant guilty of breach of non-molestation order and not guilty of the offences of witness intimidation. The defendant was sentenced to a twelve-month Community Order, which included thirty-two Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR) days and a Thinking Skills programme. The defendant was also made subject to a twelve-month restraining order which prohibits the defendant from contacting the victim directly or indirectly, referring to the victim on any social media platform and entering the street where she lives. The defendant was also ordered to pay £114 victim surcharge and £300 towards prosecution costs.
The defendant and victim are married and have children together. Following an incident one evening the defendant was charged with a sustained assault upon the victim. Most of the incident was captured on CCTV and there were independent witnesses. Prior to trial, the defendant indicated he would plead guilty to a less serious assault, but this was rejected by the prosecution. At trial the victim and two witnesses attended to give evidence. The victim, however, was supportive of the defendant. Notwithstanding this, with the help of the CCTV and the independent witnesses who corroborated the victim’s original account the defendant was convicted. Due to the severity of the assault, the case was sent to Crown Court where the defendant was sentenced to 39 months’ imprisonment and a further nine months for breaching a suspended sentence order (total 48 months).
Charged with, and having pleaded not guilty to, theft, the defendant attended trial having dispensed with the services of his solicitor. No solicitor had been appointed by the court to cross-examine the victim. The victim had previously been granted special measures, namely screens, but decided once at court for trial to face the defendant, her former husband. The victim confirmed her willingness to be cross-examined by the defendant directly rather than have proceedings adjourned and consequently the trial was effective. The victim gave clear and consistent evidence despite the pressures of cross-examination by the defendant and the court, after due consideration, found the defendant guilty of theft. The defendant was fined £300, ordered to pay the victim £1000 in compensation and costs of £620.