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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69371
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have a question about domestic common assault.

Customer Question

I have a question about domestic common assault.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jo. I was arrested on Friday evening after a fight with my girlfriend. I was released on bail from the police station pending further invetigation into a common assault charge.


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks. Complete waste of police time and taxpayer's money, isn't it?

What did you want to know about this?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Are you OK?

Can you respond?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jo, Are you still there ?


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, I am here.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.


Sorry. I had visitors and wasn't able to speak.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

What I obviously need to know is what the likely outcome might be ?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Is she going to give evidence?

Has she done this before either to you or to other partners?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

My bail conditions on Friday were to not contact her or her friend (witnness) via any means. I was told to inform the police if she contacted me (which she did early yesterday morning via phone call). I mean for goodness sake... we live together so how am I not going to speak to her for almost 4 weeks until I have to return to the police station ? She has clothes at my house, everything...


So I have spoken to her even though I am not supposed to be. Which also worries me.


She says she doesn't want the matter to go any further and will call the police tomorrow to tell them this. And her witness as well. I believe she will definitely do this.


But I worry that the police or CPS might decide to take the issue further even if she says she doesn't want to.


As an aside, we ended up fighting and I slapped her purely because she became hysterical, went completely mad and tried to hit me over the head with a heavy stone plant pot. I defended myself and slapped her to stop her from attacking me. She has admitted to the police that she attacked me with the stone plant pot, and told them that she lost her temper which started the whole thing. But I didn't admit to the police that I struck her because I was worried about admitting I had basically assaulted someone, even thoough if she had hit me over the head with the stone plant pot she could have seriously injured or even killed me.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
When you say you spoke to her, do you mean you answered the phone to her or you have called her back?

Also, has she done this before? From what you say she appears to know the drill quite well.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


I answered the phone to her. and have exchanged texts with her. She has been in this situation before, and told me the fought with her ex boyfriend and father of her son. And she also said she harmed herself in order to make it look like he had hurt her.


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Ok. I realise you dont need a lecture at the moment but that would have been a good time to run for the hills! Normal women don't get the police involved in personal disputes and they certainly don't self harm and then blame it on others.

What did she allege this time? Just a brief summary is fine.

You shouldn't be putting up with this twaddle. This is classic female abuse.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Well... I did hit her a couple of times around the back of the head with my hand, but purely to try to knock her out of her stride, so to speak. There was no blood drawn, I think she had a small bump on her head. She was doing her level best to smash a stone plant pot over my head. Which she has admitted to the police. So am I not allowed to at least defend myself and try to disable someone who is effectively trying to do me some serious harm ?


 


In hindsight, I do think I should have walked away from this girl a long time ago. I feel sure she has some sort of problem mentally, as she has told me she ended up splitting with the previous boyfriend / father of her son, largely because she cannot tolerate small children / babies and the screaming. I think at one stage she tried to harm the child. Smother it or something. I read it in some documentation that was at her flat whilst she was out one evening.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, she does. She is a vexatious accuser. You will find an article here

http://www.1itl.com/news/270/

that will sum her condition up perfectly.

We all have rows. We dont all invite the police to come and play at them.

Have you admitted striking her to the police or did you make a no comment interview?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I told the police I didn't punch her. She and her witness friend say I did. But they both stated that she started to try to attack me first, and that she did attack me with the stone pot with the intention of hitting me over the head with it.


She has attended counseling before apparently and has said to me on a couple of occasions she doesn't know why she can't control her moods and temper. She also has a problem with moods. She will get, for want of better words, p**sed off about the slightest thing, with no warning, and then I am told I must not talk to her or speak to her or even ask her why she was upset - she will talk to me about it when she is ready. But she rarely does. Yet she will talk to other people in the room or on the phone perfectly normally, then carry on not speaking to me. Then she tells me she has to put on an act with those people because they are not close to her, but because I am close to her I understand her and should know that I should just leave her alone when she is in a bad mood - which is often. Eventually she sometimes will ask me to massage her feet or something as a show of apology.


She is from Thailand by the way - something that I also don't know is a factor.


Sorry for the psycho-analysis. I know I'm rambling and it's not relevant.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jo, are you still there ?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Jo ? Are you there ?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
The reason you are experiencing delay is that you keep posting before I have responded which pushes your question to the back of my list.

Offering another person the opportunity to massage your feet is not an apology and anyway, tantrums she is having there is no excuse for calling the police and making false allegations. Try to get a recording of her saying that and then make a report. Then she will need to bring her toothbrush to court!

She cannot just retract. She can tell the police she doesn't want to support a prosecution. They could well summons her though. That is currently their police and you cannot hide from the fact that she has form for doing this so they probably will. In fairness, one can understand the frustration of the police as she has wasted their time as indeed she has deprived you of liberty.

Even if they do summons her she may not attend court. Its rare that anything happens and women do that all the time. The problem here is the independent witness that she has got involved who is vulnerable to a witness warrant.

Obviously I haven't heard your interview. From what you have said, you do appear to be raising self defence. If you have said anything in interview that amounts to excessive self defence though they will prosecute this on that basis whether she comes to court or not.

For future reference though, all you need to remember is this.

1 You need to find yourself a girlfriend who doesn't call the police every time you have a row. Its just as abusive to summons the police to every row as it is to be violent.

If you are not going to do that then

2 We always have the solicitor that we are offered at the police station.

3 We never make admissions at the police station unless our solicitor tells us its the only option.

Generally speaking, with domestics a no comment interview is better. Although better still is a new relationship with a young lady who has a job, has never called the police to personal disputes, does not claim to be a victim of abuse and preferably has a job.

Can I clairfy anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I didn't admit to striking her. She says she will tell the police she doesn't want to support a prosecution tomorrow and advise them that she doesn't want the issue to go to court.


I understand I need to step away from this woman. I realise that now. What could the likely outcome be ? I've never even been near a police station in my life before, and certainly never to court.


 


Could I end up with a prison sentence for this ?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No, and you wouldn't have been if you hadn't been involved with her and netiher will most of her other partners. People who are vexatious accusers are dangerous. They just make abusers of everybody around them. The problem with them is that they are very cunning and its easy to start thinking of them as genuine victims when, in fact, they are just manipulators. I have been a criminal practitioner in one form or another for most of life and I know a vexatious accuser when I see one but you probably don't yet. All you need to know is this - you are looking for a girlfriend with no background at all of making allegations of abuse. If you follow that principle then you will not risk finding out whether your girlfriend has been a genuine victim or is just a vexatious accuser.

You did admit to striking her. You told the police you slapped her. Whether it amounts to self defence or not depeneds on the circumstances. Self defence is a very narrow defence and its very hard for men to raise against women.

You won't go to prison whatever happens but you would probably rather keep your good character that you have preserved for however many years you have lived in the world before you were unlucky enough to meet her.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

What would you think I would receive as punishment Jo ?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
It depends if you are convicted on her facts or yours.

On your facts, it would probably be a conditional discharge. On hers a community order.

But the plain fact is that you neither need or want a community order offering lots of intervention designed to make you believe that you are the problem when, in fact, she is.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

What about after she says she doesn't want to take the matter any further ? Will it likely be dropped ?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

She cannot just retract. She can tell the police she doesn't want to support a prosecution. They could well summons her though. That is currently their police and you cannot hide from the fact that she has form for doing this so they probably will. In fairness, one can understand the frustration of the police as she has wasted their time as indeed she has deprived you of liberty.

Even if they do summons her she may not attend court. Its rare that anything happens and women do that all the time. The problem here is the independent witness that she has got involved who is vulnerable to a witness warrant.

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