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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi there! I was brutally assaulted by my wife in the evening

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Hi there! I was brutally assaulted by my wife in the evening of 19th April 2011 in front of my old but compus-mentus mother. It was three punches to the temple: full force with clenched fist. It happened in my mother's living room in my mother's house in North Devon.

We drove back to London overnight.

In the morning my wife shouted at me for 1.5 hours until I snapped, and for the first time in 7 years of marriage I struck her. It was a largely inefectual blow to the mouth which grazed her botXXXXX XXXXXp on a tooth. No bruising at all.

My thought was to report myself to the police and also report the much more serious and brutal assault that my wife had made on me the night before, just a few hours earlier.

Lewisham police station refused to allow me to report the incident in North Devon of my wife's brutal assault on me, but arrested me instead for punching my wife in Lewisham.

I plead guilty, and was sentenced to a six-month course about equality and respect in relationships amongst other things.

Three weeks later I was called by the Cornwall and Devon police who told me that Lewisham had not picked up the case, and that it was not in the public's interest to send a car to London with two officers to arrest my wife.

Since then My wife, last year, kicked me in the car in front of our son who burst out crying and said "don't hit my daddy!"

This prompted her to get the divorce she had been threatening to get, and later I reported the incident to the police on the advice of family and friends.

Decree Nisi was granted on 29th Jan. 2014.

I have a criminal record, and my wife is making false allegations, but quoting my conviction in order to lend her false allegations credibility.

My wife has assaulted me many times; I am indeed a battered husband.

She denied the kick in the car which lead to her fourth arrest. I have 6 crime numbers in which I am the victim.

My two arrests include one resulting in a caution for a scratch to her side, but which she did to her self [admitted a year later ("yes I did scratch myself! ..what are you going to do about it?!")], and the other for the light punch that I reported myself to the police about.

Question: Now that we are getting divorced she is obviously trying to get me out of her life and also our son's life. She wants money, and to have full custody. Her false allegations are difficult to disprove (and prove, but it seems the authorities want to believe her anyway). I have, however, ordered the reports for the incidents in which I was the victim.

Can I take her to court for the assault on the 19th of April 2011?

Is there any way she can be made to answer for it?

My mother would like to give evidence. My mother saw it and saw that I did not retaliate. She made a full statement when an officer visited her home where the incident happened. It is over six months ago, so she would not be arrested. Can I make a private court action though?

Thankyou for your reply in advance. M.

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

I am sorry but I have bad news for you.

You are describing a common assault. A common assault is a summary only offence. A summary only offence must be before the court within 6 months of the date of the offence. This was from 2011 and so it time barred. There are no exceptions I'm afraid.

The reason they said its not in the public interest is that they are time barred to prosecute so indeed its not in the public interest.

I suppose you could sue in the civil courts but you only have three years to do that and you are quite close to the cut off point. Also, from what you describe it will be an expensive waste of time I'm afraid. I do understand that this wasn't pleasant but it doesn't really amount to a brutal assault I'm afraid. I imagine this led to bruising or reddening to the skin since you are silent on this point? That would attract compensation of less than £100 and costs would be prohibitive. Unfortunately you would get legal aid now and a no win no fee solicitor would not be interested because its under £1000 in damages.

i do realise that for you the point may be to get the finding against her rather than the compensation and thats a matter for you when you weigh up all of the other risks and costs.

For its worth, I know that women do this sometimes and I know that generally speaking men don't whinge about violence whereas women do. The problem is, essentially, that you have left this too long o act upon this.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, it would help other issues to simply get the finding against her..


Am I right to assume that I could spend the £200 or so on a court fee and get this in front of a judge?


I would also like to open an ex-parte application for a prohibited steps order to stop her taking our son to Russia (she is Russian with GB nationality now), and a non-molestation order and also residence order for our son to live with me.

My thought being that her assaults on me are not getting looked at, and although I have applied for reports, she has not been charged, and the reports will only include my own statements and the police report, I guess.. She is trying hard with false allegations to make me look like a monster..

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi there! Yes thanks for your answer.. I just wanted clarification really.. You mention that I have left this too late, but the three years is not yet up. You "suppose" I could sue... doe that mean she cannot be charged then..? I am not quite sure exactly what the 6 month time limit actually stops apart from actual police action.. I can use this incident to help prove the falseness of her present allegations.

If there is any way to get it in front of a judge I would do so. I might make use of the fact that her assault was just before my assault of her.. could I get a pardon?!! .. Could you put your creative cap on and show me how I can use it in the situation I am in. Even if it is suing for just £100.. Because she is looking to have full custody and get me out of the picture!

An assault claim would be more than £200 in total I'm afraid.

You cannot get a pardon. That cannot happen in the UK. You have been sentenced because you entered a guilty plea and you are time barred to appeal that now.

I'm really sorry and I wish I could give you a different answer but there is no way of unpicking this now. This should have been reported at the time and if you weren't guilty to the offence then it should have been contested.

There is nothing that can be done about this at this stage
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I can afford more than £200; I was referring to the court fee only. I would represent my self. I would go for this.


Assume for a moment that I get this applied for. Will I BECOME out of time, or will the clock stop ticking as soon as I register my court application in time?

I can also include an investigation of the kick in the car which happened last year and which she denied to the police when arrested.. or can I?


Also; can I (perhaps with still paying two court fees) get this heard at the same time with an ex-parte application prohibiting our child being taken out of the country, and also a residency order backed up with a non-molestation order to allow the arrangement to work?


I am assuming, for this question, that I can and will prove to be lies her sworn affidavit that she used to get a Judge Brett at Bromley County Court to make the non-molestation order and prohibited steps order that my son and I are now suffering under. I have seen him for 2 hours in the last 4 weeks.


By the way, on re-reading I see you assume the "not in public interest" statement occurred more recently, after the 6 month time limit. It did not. the Metropolitan Police did not pick up the case at the time, and the Devon and Cornwall Police made this statement just 3 weeks after the assault. My mother's evidence (her seeing the assault) has never been heard.

You could sue for personal injury in time. The clock stops ticking when you issue at court.

You do need to bear in mind that your chances are not high but it could be done.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, thanks, I don't need to win, I just need to reveal her history of abuse, and register a correct level of resistance to bullying. I have taken too much for too long, and now she is claiming to be the victim in order to get full custody of our son. I am given no choice.


Thank you.

Yes, I understand that and I know women do that sometimes.

The question here though is what can you achieve? Realistically you are not going to win at the civil courts and she will just use the fact that you have issued and failed to argue this is further harassment.

She is probably going to get full custody in the short term but whatever your relationship with her she isn't going to stop you seeing your son which is probably her game.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Is not your stance tantamount to saying that the system is corrupt or biased so much towards women that I may as well allow contempt of court in the form of false allegations (your future one that you have pointed out included: a claim of harassment)?.. and, furthermore, allow the fact that since our 4 year old son was 9 months old I have been his primary carer to be worth nothing in coming to a decision about his care, and, still further, that now that my wife wants divorce because she cannot control her violent nature, she can easily paint a picture of me as an aggressor instead of admitting the truth: that she is the aggressor, and benefit from the result given by a manipulated judge?


Are we being a little cynical here?, or have you argued for the abused wife too often? (with all respect; I merely point at the ease of walking a well-trodden path..)

I have been spat at, punched, kicked and abused in many ways over the years, and often.

I hope a judge will see her for who she is: a liar and a bully. At least some four or five friends and two family are standing up for me. She has hit me in front of witnesses many times.


I understand your concern regarding telling me the truth, but if there is any chance you might reflect on this and see that you might have got it wrong, I would like to know.. Or, put another way.. IF YOU HAD TO PROVE her guilt, or at least discredit her claims, how would you do it?

The system is biased in favour of women but it isn't corrupt. There were options for you. You didn't pursue them I'm afraid. Once you have pleaded guilty you cannot return to the matter several years later essentially because you are disadvantaged by the conviction.

Its never easy to prove a claim is false but its just not a realistic option here because you pleaded guilty.

In any event, all your account really amounts to is a claim that she struck you first and then you struck her back to punish her. Even if your explanation is accepted at its highest, it doesn't mean that you do not present risks. It just means that she does as well which is fairly common in relationship squabbles.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sorry; her false allegations are subtle and far-reaching. They are such that the history of violence towards me is important only as an indication of character, and as a balance against her claim that she fears for the safety of herself and our son. Yes, I asked if I could be pardoned, but my real question was how to present the truth.


Now I am thinking that my question is unfair in that I cannot easily give you all the background knowledge to make a sufficiently informed answer.


This does not mean you have not answered; I am grateful for your answer and I will give a high rating.


Perhaps I am asking too much of the system. But, no, I don't need a pardon! I need her past to be revealed so that risks can be assessed correctly.



I struck her that once in 10 years of marriage.


She hit me perhaps 60 times (including the three blows in front of my mother) with painful force, swung me around by my hair (in front of someone else) pushed me against the wall, spat on me twice in arguments.. and much more.


I do have the six crime numbers in which I am the victim, and I also have audio recordings showing her to be abusing us psychologically.



Will she hit our child? Yes, I am sure she will and probably already has.


[...Mmm..How could she claim harassment if I lose a case? Is that not like saying I was lying; as if my allegations have been proved false?? They could not be.. they are true of course, even if I do not win.. ]


OK, you have answered, thank you. If you would like to add something regarding this last page of mine it would be appreciated, otherwise, thank you again.


The negative face of your answer does not deter me from rating you highly.

Oh yes, of course they are. I know what women like her are about. They are using the fact that we are very sensitive about domestic violence because we didn't take it seriously enough in teh 1970s to manipulate their partners.

There is way way way more feigned victimhood in the UK than actual abuse.

What this comes down to here is that you had a barney and you both misbehaved. That is not, in my view, real abuse.

The problem is though that it is unlawful and you did plead guilty.

The truth is that this twaddle will not stop the family courts giving you access to your son.
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