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CPS North East - Domestic Abuse Prosecutions - June 2023

|News, Domestic abuse

Below are some examples of Domestic Abuse cases successfully prosecuted by CPS North East in June 2023:

  • The parties had been in a relationship since before 2019. In December 2022 the defendant assaulted the victim by punches to the head and body.  As the victim attempted to ring the police, the defendant tried to grab his phone.  The victim tried to de-escalate the situation by moving to another room, but the defendant continued to both verbally abuse and threaten the victim with further violence, including setting their dogs onto him. At court, the defendant pleaded not guilty to a charge of S39 assault, claiming self-defence, and the case was set for trial. The victim was anxious about attending court so special measures (video link) were sought. The key evidence in this case was the initial 999 call, where the defendant could be heard in the background being abusive towards the victim, Body Worn Footage in which the defendant admitted ‘slapping the victim in the face’ and a clear written statement provided by the victim. The defendant was convicted at trial and received a £450 fine. The victim noted within their victim statement that they could no longer cope with the abuse and violence perpetrated by the defendant, they also expressed concern for the defendant’s wellbeing and hoped that they would seek help for their alcohol issues. 
  • Whilst at a restaurant together, the defendant accused the victim of cheating on him. When the victim admitted kissing someone else, the defendant dragged her out of the restaurant by her hair, causing the victim to bang her head off the pavement. The victim received assistance from members of the public whilst the defendant left the scene. The victim was fearful of providing evidence against the defendant and this case was progressed as an ‘evidence-led’ prosecution.  The defendant pleaded not guilty to the S39 charge, claiming he was not present when the incident took place. However, the entire incident was captured on the restaurant’s CCTV and the defendant was convicted after trial. He received a twelve-month community order and 100 hours of unpaid work. 
  • The parties had been in a relationship for about nine years. Following an evening out socialising, the victim returned on her own to a city centre hotel and went to bed. She was awoken later by the defendant, who blamed her for having been robbed that night; he was verbally abusive towards her, hitting her about the body, particularly her face and legs.  A guest staying in a nearby room reported the altercation to a night porter. The porter was able to enter the victim’s room and take the victim downstairs, while the defendant was detained by the police.  At court the defendant pleaded not guilty to a S39 assault claiming self-defence but was convicted after trial, based on the victim’s account.  Photographs of the victim’s injuries were also available. The defendant was sentenced to a twelve-month community order, 20 RAR days, 100 hours unpaid work, £200 compensation, and a restraining order was also imposed for a period of two years.  
  • The couple had been together for about three months when the police visited the victim’s home, following a concerned call from a family friend. On arrival the police noted signs of a disturbance having taken place.  The victim told the police that the defendant had punched her in the face, causing injury to her eye whilst her child had been present. He had also caused damage to their home. The victim subsequently told the police that the defendant had previously threatened her with a hammer, made threats to kill her, slapped and punched her.  The defendant later admitted making threats to burn the victim’s property down with herself and her child inside if the case is not dropped (this call was recorded). The defendant received a total sentence of 30 months’ imprisonment, comprising of 24 months’ custody for the S47 assault, and six months’ imprisonment for witness intimidation and property damage. A restraining order of life was also imposed on the defendant. 
  • The Police were called to the defendant’s address following an abandoned 999 call. The victim, who was the ex-partner of the defendant, disclosed to the police when alone that she had visited the defendant’s address to see her children’s uncle and have a drink. She had then gone to bed, not knowing that the defendant was downstairs. An altercation had then occurred when the defendant entered her bedroom and threatened to chop her up with a machete knife that he was holding. When interviewed, the defendant denied making any threats to kill or to assault the victim although he did accept owning a machete and this was later recovered.  The defendant who also has a previous history of domestic violence, was found guilty of both offences of threats to kill and common assault. The case was deemed so serious it has been committed to the Crown Court for sentence. 
  • The police were called by the defendant to the home address of his partner (the victim), admitting he had assaulted his partner with a knife stabbing her in the face. Whilst being detained the defendant also made further incriminating remarks ‘I’ll not be out for a long time now’ and ‘I am ready to hold my hands up to everything there’. The victim was unwilling to support a prosecution and did not provide a VPS however the initial 999 call contained the defendant’s admissions; there was body worn footage which depicted the extent of the victim’s injuries and “res gestae” evidence from the victim implicating the defendant. There were also images of the victims’ injuries, and a hospital report detailing that the victim had sustained four stab wounds to her face, and lacerations to her wrist and thigh. There was also evidence of the defendant’s previous bad character towards the victim. The defendant pleaded guilty to the S18 charge of GBH with intent and was sentenced to twelve years’ imprisonment, which comprised of a custodial term of nine years with an extension of three years pursuant to S279 SA 2020. 
  • On release from prison the defendant immediately breached two restraining orders in respect of his ex-partner and mother.  The defendant was prohibited from attending his mother’s address but was captured on CCTV footage from a neighbouring property using a brick to break into his mother’s caravan through a window albeit nothing was stolen. He later returned apologising for causing the damage but also expressing disdain at her for calling the police.  The defendant was also prohibited from having any direct or indirect contact with his ex-partner. By chance the victim saw the defendant who, when walking passed her, had smirked and shouted ‘’hi ya’’. The following day the defendant attended the victim’s address banging on the door and window.  Despite telling him to leave, the defendant stayed for about ten minutes until she threatened to call the police.  The defendant denied both breaches but was found guilty after trial. Both victims had reported the breaches promptly, there was also BWF showing the damage to the window of the defendants’ mother’s property, with CCTV footage showing the defendant at this location. Both victims provided statements and each attended court. He was sentenced to a twelve-week custodial sentence with £150 compensation awarded to the defendant’s mother.  

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