CPS North East - Domestic Abuse Prosecutions - March 2023
Below are examples of Domestic Abuse cases successfully prosecuted by CPS North East in March:
- The parties began a relationship at the beginning of 2017. The victim detailed how the defendant began to be controlling with her later that year, showing emotional and financial control along with violence towards her. The defendant pleaded not guilty to an offence of engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour spanning a period of 21 months. After pleading not guilty, he failed to attend for trial and his solicitors made an unsuccessful application to vacate due to alleged medical reasons. He was convicted after trial and the matter has now been committed for sentence at the Crown Court.
- On returning home from a night out, the defendant smashed a plate off the wall and then pinned his partner to the floor. The defendant was holding a wine bottle, which broke on the victim’s hand as she went to defend herself, causing a wound to her palm that required stitches. The matter proceeded to trial with the injured party attending to give evidence. A conviction was secured and the case was committed for sentence at the Crown Court. The defendant is currently subject to bail conditions prohibiting contact with the victim prior to being sentenced.
- The defendant was convicted of murdering his estranged wife after trial. The motive, according to the Crown, was jealously at the fact that the deceased had commenced a new relationship. After the defendant gave evidence at trial the Crown made submissions that a loss of control argument had not been established. The judge agreed and this defence was removed from the jury. He was subsequently convicted and was given a life sentence with a minimum term of 18 years.
- The parties were in a relationship for ten years, with the defendant having been convicted in 2015 of assaulting the same victim. A non-molestation order was granted to protect her, and he was charged with two breaches of this order. He pleaded guilty to one of the offences on a limited basis, and the more serious breach where the victim was assaulted was admitted on the day of trial, after she attended to give evidence. The defendant was made subject to a term of ten months’ imprisonment for each offence, to run concurrently. This was suspended for a period of 18 months, with a community order including a programme requirement of completing the building better relationships programme. A Restraining Order was also granted for a period of five years to protect the victim from further offending.
- The parties were in a four-year relationship, and this ended when the defendant caused damage to the victim’s property resulting in a conviction and the imposition of a Restraining Order. He was charged with two offences of breaching this Restraining Order, which was imposed only three months before the offending. He entered guilty pleas at the first hearing and was sentenced to 26 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for a period of twelve months. The current Restraining Order remains in force until September 2024 to protect the victim from further offending.
- The defendant began a seven-year relationship with the victim when she was 17 years old. She described the relationship as being ‘horrific’ after the first six months. He was charged with offences of false imprisonment, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and assault by beating. The victim is noted as vulnerable and high risk of further harm from the defendant. He, despite initially indicating not guilty pleas, pleaded guilty to the two assault matters at the first Crown Court hearing. The pleas were acceptable to all parties and a term of 19 months’ imprisonment was imposed along with the grant of a five-year restraining order.
- The defendant and his ex-partner were in a five-year relationship. She was granted a non-molestation order by the Family Court in 2021. Following the grant of the order, the defendant breached it by contacting the victim - messaging her directly and also contacting her via a social media platform. He was charged with one offence of breach of Non-Molestation Order and pleaded not guilty saying that he had a reasonable excuse for the contact. The victim was very emotional on the day of trial and the prosecuting lawyer spent time talking to her, explaining court procedure, and assuring her that she would be supported whilst giving evidence. The defendant was convicted after trial and the defendant was made subject to a two-year community order with a two-year Restraining Order to protect the victim from further offending.
- The parties were in a twelve-month relationship when the defendant assaulted the victim by punching and slapping her to the face. He was charged with assault by beating and pleaded not guilty. The victim was supported by an Independent Domestic Violence Associate (IDVA) throughout the proceedings and a successful application was made for this victim to give evidence remotely. The defendant did not attend court on the day of trial and the matter proceeded in his absence. He was convicted and a warrant issued. He was subsequently arrested and remanded into custody for sentence, where he received 16 weeks’ custody. A Restraining Order for a period of two years was also granted to protect the victim from further offending.