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Sentencing for domestic violence

(28 Posts)
Belleende Thu 22-Feb-18 08:11:52

Hoping someone here will know. I posted in relationships a horrific case is domestic violence. Over 30 years. Last incident resulted in wife breaking hip and husband kicking her whilst on the floor begging for help. He showed little to no remorse. He was sentenced to 14 months. I would say not even a month for every broken bone.

If he had inflicted these injuries on a stranger would the sentence have been longer and if so why?

MrsBertBibby Thu 22-Feb-18 08:25:06

I am guessing that the sentences were low because the offences were historic and therefore he had to be sentenced in accordance with prevailing guidelines and law.

It is I think only today that sentencing guidelines have explicitly stated that violence against partner of family should lead to higher sentencing than a similar offence against a stranger. Coming in in May. Took long enough.

Belleende Thu 22-Feb-18 08:26:38

The latest attack was recent. He broke her hip.

prh47bridge Thu 22-Feb-18 08:49:08

Under the current sentencing guidelines the sentence should have been the same if the victim had been a stranger. Domestic violence is not specifically recognised in the current guidelines. The nearest they get is that repeated assault on the same victim attracts a higher sentence.

As MrsBertBibby says, the guidelines are being changed to give a higher sentence in cases of domestic violence.

Regarding this case, I presume he was convicted of ABH or GBH. If he pleaded guilty the sentence would have been reduced automatically. If I were guessing based on the sentence I would say he was convicted of ABH and he pleaded guilty, in which case the sentence is about right.

prh47bridge Thu 22-Feb-18 09:09:42

It is also possible a plea bargain was involved, resulting in him being convicted of a lesser offence. But all this is guesswork. Without knowing more about the offence it is impossible to say whether the sentence is reasonable against the current guidelines or unduly lenient.

MrsBertBibby Thu 22-Feb-18 09:20:58

If was GBH though. Twice.

It does seem light, tbh.

MrsBertBibby Thu 22-Feb-18 09:22:38

Belleende Thu 22-Feb-18 09:24:51

These are the articles. From the details it sounds more like torture than plain old abuse.

MumOfTheMoos Thu 22-Feb-18 09:39:57

If the offence took place in front of children or relatives then that is an aggravating factor which can lead to a higher sentence- also if the victim was particularly vulnerable or the location of the offence made them vulnerable. That could be at the victims home.

Being someone's partner or being female does not (apparently) make you vulnerable angry

It looks to me that neither offences were considered the highest category.

This is why the new law is so needed and also the the requirement for misogyny to be an aggravating factor as well.

MumOfTheMoos Thu 22-Feb-18 09:40:28

It does seem light for two offences.

Belleende Thu 22-Feb-18 09:51:17

Light is one word for it

prh47bridge Thu 22-Feb-18 11:29:51

It seems he pleaded guilty so there will have been a reduction for that. But even so, 14 months strikes me as unduly lenient. It is clearly greater harm as there are repeated assaults on the same victim so the sentence only makes sense if the judge decided it was not higher culpability, giving a starting point for sentencing of 18 months. Based on the newspaper reports it seems to me that it should have been rated as higher culpability, in which case the starting point for sentencing should have been 3 years and the minimum would have been 2 years 6 months (which could be reduced to 20 months by a guilty plea).

Being someone's partner or being female does not (apparently) make you vulnerable

It may make you vulnerable. It does not necessarily make you "particularly vulnerable" under the current sentencing guidelines.

the requirement for misogyny to be an aggravating factor as well

It already is. If the offence is motivated by the victim's sex that is an aggravating factor.

RedHelenB Thu 22-Feb-18 11:44:14

There shouldn't be a difference in sentencing surely? Why is it now deemed worse for it to be a victim of domestic violence?

Belleende Thu 22-Feb-18 11:53:51

Because Helen the victims are usually attacked into their own home the place where they should feel safest, and the perpetrator is usually their partner, the person who should protect them not attack them. This is an abuse of power that I believe warrants harsher sentences.

My impression was that attacks on strangers were given harsher sentences, but I think I was wrong

prh47bridge Thu 22-Feb-18 12:03:47

The argument is that people should be safe in their own home, that family and intimate relationships involve trust and security and that domestic violence violates that. There is also the potential for victims to suffer lasting trauma and for the offender to be a continuing threat to their safety. This is broadly what the Sentencing Council says in the new guidelines.

Another way of looking at it is that the new guidelines show that society does not tolerate abusive relationships and considers violence within a relationship to be worse than other forms of violence.

Note that the changes will also mean that courts will take less notice of victims requesting lenience for their attacker, which is sometimes a factor in domestic violence cases currently.

RedHelenB Thu 22-Feb-18 12:32:51

Thing is though you have the option to leave an abusI've relationship but if you're randomly targeted by a stranger that could lead to you being a virtual prisoner in your own home. Can't really see why violence isn't treated as violence wherever it happens with the same sentencing guidelines.

Collaborate Thu 22-Feb-18 14:02:11

It's really not that easy for victims of DV to leave. At all.

RedHelenB Thu 22-Feb-18 15:15:53

I appreciate that but they still have that option that you don't have if you are suddenly attacked by a stranger.

MumOfTheMoos Fri 23-Feb-18 09:39:41

As some one who grew up watching my father abuse my mother, I can tell you it's not that easy to leave and actually, why the hell should they, given it's their home?

Along with physical violence often comes with elements of coercive control.

Wheel of Violence

They're often told by the people hitting them that if they leave they will lose their children and the violent abuser will have them...

It's not easy to leave at all.

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 23-Feb-18 09:45:19

No RedHelenB, many victims do not have the option to leave an abusive relationship.

Collaborate Fri 23-Feb-18 12:14:17

I appreciate that but they still have that option that you don't have if you are suddenly attacked by a stranger.

I presume you've never worked with victims of DV, or read up on the effect DV has on its victims.

RedHelenB Fri 23-Feb-18 16:14:25

Actually I do know firsthand and my thoughts still stand. I appreciate it's not easy but it is an option.

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 23-Feb-18 18:33:13

Helen, when you are a victim of an attack, the attack is happening, you are being assaulted. Then you report it to the police.

Unlike being attacked by a randomer the assailant in DV knows your name, address, place of work, friends and family. You will not be asked to share a dwelling with an unknown assailant. They will have no rights to your home or your DC.

We also know that victims of DV are often attacked multiple times before reporting and that the most dangerous time for a DV victim is when they are leaving the relationship.

It is much easier and safer to report and prosecute a random attack. A woman may be risking her life and that of her DCs when she reports the DV she is a victim of. She is far more at risk of being a virtual prisoner in her own home with DV than with an attack outside of that home.

Collaborate Fri 23-Feb-18 21:29:05

Actually I do know firsthand and my thoughts still stand. I appreciate it's not easy but it is an option.

So much knowledge, so little understanding.

RedHelenB Sat 24-Feb-18 16:45:50

Collaborate you have no idea of anyone's personal circumstances, I am just citing my opinion as is everyone else on this thread.

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