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CPS North East - Domestic Abuse Prosecutions - April 2023

|News, Domestic abuse

The following domestic abuse cases were prosecuted by CPS North East in April:

  • The defendant pleaded guilty to offences of robbery, harassment (putting in fear of violence) and criminal damage at the first Crown Court hearing.  His 65-year-old grandmother was the victim and the defendant, at the time of the commission of these offences, was on court bail awaiting sentence for offences of common assault and criminal damage against the same high-risk victim. The defendant attended at his grandmother’s home and demanded money.  When she refused, he spat in her face and punched her in the arm.  In fear she did transfer £60 to his bank; he then grabbed her phone and stamped on it before leaving.  The next day the defendant made two phone calls to his grandmother and demanded his money from her.  This references the fact that his benefits were paid into her bank account.  He had already received all the money he was due. Following the victim reporting the offences, the defendant evaded arrest for five weeks. Following the guilty pleas, the defendant was sentenced to a total of three years and four months’ imprisonment.
  • The parties were in a five-year relationship, with a young child together.  The defendant was made subject to a Restraining Order in August 2022 after being convicted of offences of assault, theft, and fraud against the same victim.  The defendant pleaded guilty to two offences of breach of Restraining Order and six offences of fraud by false representation at the first hearing and these matters were committed for sentence.  Other offences, subject to not guilty pleas, were sent to the Crown Court for trial.  The victim indicated that she wished to retract her complaint two days before the listed trial and did not attend court on the trial date.  The prosecution, despite not wishing to witness summons this high-risk victim, determined that an offence was required to mark the offending where the defendant held a knife to the victim’s throat within her home and demanded access to her online bank account.  A plea to Affray was secured and the defendant was subsequently sentenced to a total of 41 months’ imprisonment and made subject to a Restraining Order until further notice.
  • The victim and defendant had been together for approximately one and a half years at the time of an assault.  They had been out drinking together and the victim decided to go and see her friend.  The defendant wrongly suspected that she was visiting her ex-boyfriend and followed her.  He assaulted her by taking her to the ground, striking her several times and grabbing her by the throat. The assault was witnessed by a couple driving past in their car who stopped to assist.  The victim sustained a significant eye injury. This is a case where the victim did make a statement and a retraction on the same day, but the matter proceeded as an “evidence-led” prosecution.  The independent witness gave evidence, and the defendant was convicted after trial.  He was committed to the Crown Court for sentence after the District Judge gave a sentencing indication of an 18-month starting point.  The sentence hearing is yet to take place.
  • The defendant was convicted, after trial, of an offence of threats to kill relating to his partner.  The relationship had broken down and she was in the process of moving out of the address.  He told her to get out of his sight and repeated five times that he would kill her that night.  The victim was petrified and rang the police.  Upon arrest the defendant stated to officers that his victim would be ‘murdered.’  Following a not guilty plea the victim gave evidence at trial and he was convicted.  He was placed on a community order for a period of twelve months.
  • The victim in this case was assessed as high risk and was the partner of the defendant.  This was an “evidence led” prosecution with the victim refusing from the outset to make a statement.  Police are alerted to the incident as an incomplete 999 call was received and the call taker could hear a male and female with raised voices.  Officers attended, there were signs of a disturbance, but no one present.  The door was ajar, and the victim approached officers outside disclosing that the defendant had punched her to the face several times, bitten her arm and banged her head off a bedside table.  She also said that he had attempted to throw ammonia at her, as well as smashing her phone and television.  She had visible injuries and was distressed.  He was arrested inside of the victim’s flat some six weeks after the assault despite the victim telling officers that he was not there. The offence was denied, and the Prosecution proceeded to trial using the “res gestae” account provided by the victim to the officers at the scene. The defendant, who was remanded on other matters, refused to leave his cell for his trial. He was convicted and committed for sentence to the Crown Court.  The sentencing hearing has not yet taken place.
  • This assault occasioning actual bodily harm was committed whilst the defendant was on court bail, having pleaded guilty to offences of S.47 assault and criminal damage upon the same victim, his ex-partner.  He sneaked into her home via the back door while her friends were present, and she was not aware of this until after they had left.  He demanded her mobile phone and, after she refused and tried to leave, he grabbed her by the hair before dragging her back inside and punching her. The defendant was remanded for the duration of the proceedings and on the day of trial he refused to leave his prison cell.  The victim gave evidence, and the defendant was convicted.  He was committed to the Crown court for sentence where he received a total of 33 months imprisonment for both sets of offences and made subject of a restraining order of five years.
  • The defendant was charged with the stalking (serious harm and distress) of his ex-partner.  They were in a relationship for some ten years but had split three years prior to the offending. The defendant rang the victim excessively, left voice mails, attended at her place of work, and tried to provoke her new partner into fighting.  She was left terrified by his actions. The defendant denied the offence and simply said that there was a factual dispute.  The victim attended and gave evidence with the assistance of a live link.  The defendant was volatile throughout the proceedings and was warned by the judge that he would be removed from the hearing if he persisted. The defendant was convicted and committed to the Crown Court for sentence.  The victim attended the sentencing hearing as she wished to provide a further and fuller victim personal statement.  She also requested a restraining order to protect her from further offending. The defendant failed to attend the sentencing hearing and a warrant is currently outstanding for his arrest.

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