Male domestic abuse: A true case study

More men are speaking out about their personal experiences of domestic abuse and male domestic abuse awareness is on the rise. Between 2012 and 2016 there was a total of 525015 reported male domestic abuse victims in England and Wales. (Statistic from mankind.org.uk).

But there has been a groundbreaking first in the courts and for domestic abuse law. Yesterday (16th April 2018) J Worth, a 22-year-old university student, became the first woman to be convicted and sentenced for the horrific acts she subjected upon her former partner.
Worth scalded and stabbed her victim as well as striking him with blunt objects, she withheld food from him and even took control of his Facebook account. She would decide what he could wear and she isolated him from his friends and family.

Worth had met her former partner (let’s call him X for arguments sake) whilst they were at college in 2012. It was said that she became violent with X, who suffered from hydrocephalus (a condition which causes a buildup of fluid in the skull), which left him vulnerable. She wounded him with a knife and refused to help him get to hospital when he was in need of treatment.

The court heard that her victim couldn’t sleep in the same bed as her and this continued for nine months. Neighbours also stated that they had often heard arguments and the sounds of things being thrown around the house.
They also said that they heard X shouting “Get off me, you are hurting me” at Worth and he was then seen with black eyes, a limp and his arm in a sling.
Another neighbour stated that they had heard X shouting “get off my head, don’t keep doing that to my head”.

When paramedics were called, they noted injuries to X’s hand, burns to his arms and legs, which were being self-treated by clingfilm. X was then taken to hospital, where it was stated that 5% of his total body surface was scalded.
Worth was arrested a few days later.

Judge Madge told Worth that as well as the violence she had carried out on her former partner, she had refused his adequate bedding and food. He then went on to say Worth would “belittle” her partner and discourage him from contacting his family and friends.

Worth was subject to a restraining order which prevents her from contacting X for an indefinite period, as well as having to serve a seven-and-a-half year prison sentence, after she pleaded guilty to the offence of controlling or coercive behaviour, as well as wounding with intent and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Domestic abuse is a tricky subject to face. The victim has to admit that they are a victim but that can also risk their safety so a lot of victims don’t speak out because they are ashamed, scared, have no one to talk to or just don’t know what support is out there for them. However, there are organisations out there who can help victims get out of the relationship and to make sure they keep safe, some organisations even provide counselling if the victim needs it. The first step is finding the organisations and speaking out about it, until then, things won’t get better.

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Domestic Abuse and the law

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Domestic abuse awareness is massive right now and so I was pleased to see that an ex-soldier who bullied and beat his girlfriend into taking her own life has been locked up. As a former sufferer of Domestic Abuse, I take an keen interest in cases that result in a conviction for the perpetrator.

In 2015, the government introduced a new law into the Serious Crimes Act. S.79 states that it is now an offence to submit controlling or coercive behavior in an intimate relationship. Coercive control is when someone makes a victim feel dependent, isolated or scared.

The case of the ex soldier, as mentioned above, is said to be the first case which has successfully held a conviction for the death of a victim of controlling and coercive behavior.

Gane was sentenced to fours years and three months in prison for driving his former partner to suicide and was also found guilty of grievous bodily harm and one count of assault by beating.
He also employed the ‘gaslighting’ technique, named after the 1944 film Gaslight, in which a killer tries to make his wife think she is going mad. Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity.

The court also heard how he pinned her to the floor and throttled her and subjected her to, what the judge described as, “domineering and grossly humiliating behavior”. It was also stated that he searched her bedroom to see if there was another man there and sniffed her underwear to see if she had been unfaithful. He called her a ‘slut’ and accused her of cheating on him.

The prosecutor requested that the judge impose a Criminal Behavior Order on Gane due to him being a danger to any woman he is in a sexual relationship with. He was also found in breach of a suspended sentence for possessing a prohibited weapon – a stun gun disguised as a mobile phone.

So he gets 4 years? For causing the death of a partner who was abused physically and mentally by him. Four years. That is disgusting. I know the law is finally siding with victims of DV but that sentence is an insult, especially with the other crimes he is charged with.

But at least this case is more successful than the one I read this morning.

Drug user Bradley Hodson inflicted ‘outrageous’ violence throughout the three-year relationship, punching her for no reason and kicking her head before saying ‘look what you have done to yourself’. He kicked his pregnant partner in the stomach, threatened to kill her and stopped her wearing shorts.
Hodson also told her how to dress, banning her from wearing shorts and vest tops on warm days. He bit, punched, kicked and stamped on his girlfriend, banned her from using Facebook and cut her off from her family, Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard. And he even accused her of being unfaithful – which included claiming she was ‘sleeping with another woman’.
Hodson took hold of her hair, threw her to the floor and kicked her in the stomach a few times. On one occasion she took his bank card from him so he could not buy drugs and he punched her in the eye.

Luckily, this piece of shit has been jailed, however, the prison sentence of two years is a little insulting. He also has a five year order placed on him banning any contact with his victim.

‘He isolated her and cut her off from her family. He did not allow her to use Facebook and accused her of being unfaithful,’ she said. ‘He accused her of having parties in the house when he was upstairs.’ – Prosecutor F, Cortese.

Hodson is a classic example of a perpetrator. He is completely textbook. I have had the pleasure of attending Pat Craven’s Freedom Programme on a couple of occasions during and after my abusive marriage ended, I have learned all the traits of a dominator and I can safely say that neither victim was at fault. Perpetrators seek out their victims, they tend to go for vulnerable women who can be easily manipulated and break them down until they lose all confidence and self-worth. Unfortunately the perp’s don’t go around wearing a sign but if you’re in a relationship with a person and you want to make sure they have no convictions of domestic abuse, then you can apply for a Clare’s Law application through your local police force. That’s how I finally found out that my ex-husband had been convicted of battering one of his exes, I knew I wasn’t the only one who he was abusive towards.

It is worth mentioning that abuse isn’t just physical. It can be psychological too. Psychological abuse can include intimidation, name calling, making you feel worthless, gaslighting, telling lies about you, causing arguments and fall-outs between you and friends and family, putting you down, and constantly making you feel like you’re walking around on egg shells. Perpetrators also tend to ‘move the goal posts’, for example they will love pizza one day then a week later hate it so you never know what to do. They also move things and will hide things such as keys or take the pushchair in the car so you can’t leave the house. I know it sounds like pathetic mind games but it all adds up to you losing your identity. You start sinking into a depressive state which they then use to convince you that you’re going mad, especially if you have been prescribed anti-depressants by your doctor. They will turn the children against you and counter anything you say to them, for example, you might make them fish fingers for tea and he will tell them that they don’t have to eat it.

I would also highly recommend reading Pat Craven’s Freedom Programme: Living With The Dominator, which is available on Amazon and can also be read for free with Kindle Unlimited subscriptions.

Another death by dangerous driving

JS147904943One of my pet hates in this world is people who drive under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. So many people lose loved ones because of this extremely selfish crime and it looks like the Great British justice system is finally starting to toughen up on their punishments of drivers who are convicted of death by dangerous driving and driving under the influence.

A case which caught my attention recently was the sentencing of Connor Bainbridge. 21 year-old Bainbridge caused the death of 17 year-old Thompson and seriously injured his female passenger after driving whilst under the influence of drugs and alcohol. It was also brought to the attention of the court that Bainbridge had no insurance and only held a provisional licence.
Bainbridge, who was driving his female passengers mothers Skoda Fabia, was driving at 78mph in a 40mph zone whilst high on a cocktail of cocaine, ecstacy, cannabis and alcohol as well as suffering from having no sleep.

Prosecutor, M Giuliani, stated that Bainbridge overtook a car at 69mph then continued to accelerate and tyre marks, at the scene, showed he had reached 78mph, just before the 40mph zone reduces to a 30mph zone.
The overtaking manoeuvre, coupled with excessive high speed, caused him to lose control of the Skoda. Effectively, he was driving beyond the Skoda’s road-handling ability… He moved from side to side six times. The person he overtook formed the view that he was fighting to keep control. He failed to… The car became airborne, all four wheels leaving the road, and it rotated 90 degrees for 20 feet then hit the bridge wall.”

17 year-old Thompson was in the backseat of the car and was pronouced dead at the scene sue to head and chest injuries. The 17 year-old girl, who was in the front passenger seat, needed seven hours of emergency surgery and was put in an induced coma. Bainbridge broke his shoulder and leg and also required surgery.

M Scarborough, Bainbridge’s defence, said that Bainbridge has no previous convictions and was remorseful for his crime. He also added that Bainbridge had lost his father at the age of 18 and had turned to drugs as a coping mechanism.

Bainbridge was sentenced, by Mr Justice Goss, to five years and four months in prison as well as a five year driving ban to begin upon his release.

Now, I understand that he lost his father at the age of 18, however, there are other ways to deal with grief rather than turn to drugs. This isn’t the reason for the crime, the crime was caused by a selfish and stupid act, the fact that his father died 3 years previously was merely an excuse.
It was Bainbridge’s decision to get into the car, it was his decision to start the car and drive off. He would of known that he wasn’t capable of driving after taking his drugs cocktail just like he knew that driving whilst under the influence, as well as driving with no insurance and only having a provisional is illegal. But he decided to do it anyway.

I just hope that Bainbridge sees prison as an opportunity to come off the drugs and deal with his grief in a more stable and healthy manner which doesn’t cause harm to anyone else.

Rant about boy racers

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Scrolling through the DM website and came across an article about a boy racer finally being found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving in 2016.

‘Miss Kennedy was killed on the evening of July 4, 2016, on the A4067 between Pontardawe and Glais – she was heading down the valley towards her home in Clydach, and travelling in the opposite direction of Price and Kedward.
After negotiating the Glais roundabout, the two defendants – Price in his turquoise Honda Civic Sport and Kedward in his black Vauxhall Astra SRi – began to race each other.’

‘A witnesses described how the two cars were ‘racing side-by-side’ along the road at speeds estimated to be between 70mph – 80mph, with neither of them wanting to ‘give in’. A few minutes later, Price, who was driving in the offside lane as he tried to overtake Kedward, slammed straight into the front of Miss Kennedy’s Ford Ka, sending it crashing off the carriageway. Miss Kennedy was killed instantly.’

‘Kedward, whose car was not caught up the crash, did not stop to see what had happened. Instead he drove to his grandfather’s house in Ystradgynlais, where he dumped a small amount of cannabis he had on him along with his mobile phone. He returned to the scene later that night to find the by-pass closed at the Pontardawe roundabout. He was subsequently arrested and in court complained about the way he was treated by police while in custody.’

The scumbag will be sentenced on Monday (16th April 2018).

Now, personally, I think that it should be made law that until you’re 25, you can’t have a car that has an engine size bigger than a 1 litre, and, if you cause an accident or commit any other dangerous motoring offence during that time, then you get your licence revoked immediately. It would certainly cut down on these kind of incidents because there are too many immature drivers who think, just because they have a car with sport in the name, they can drive like idiots. And it isn’t fair on the people who get caught up in their stupid showing off, it heightens insurance premiums, it makes it more expensive for people of the same age to get insurance that they can afford, and it also puts premiums up on that make and model of car.

If you want to race then tracks have special days for that but I fail to see why you would want to race a Honda Civic or a Vauxhall Astra, its not as if they’re super sporty cars.

And the fact that one of the scumbags had cannabis, which he dropped off at a relatives, just states that these people are too immature to have a licence, they will probably think they’re being ‘hard’ and ‘gangster’ but they just look pathetic.

No, I have no time for wannabe criminals who waste public resources by being trialed. Is it even worth sending them to prison? What will it achieve? Absolutely nothing. He will get a menial sentence of a few month, get out, go straight back to his life of crime and end up back inside a few months later. It’s a never ending cycle with people like this. Mark my words, this won’t be the last we will hear of Price and Kedward.

Wanted!

Scanning through the news on my Samsung S8+ Upday app and found an article which ?got my blood boiling.

An inmate has escaped from HMP Leyhill in South Gloucester. Keith Whitehouse, 56, was serving a life sentence for manslaughter, which he committed whilst on home release from prison in 1991, (when he was serving a sentence for kidnap). 
The staff at HMP Leyhill found that Whitehouse was missing when he failed to show up for roll call on the evening of Saturday 17th February 2018. 

Whitehouse is described as being a white, 6ft 5 ins male of slim build. He has short grey hair, a grey moustache and a goatee beard. He also has an eagle tattoo on his left arm and a leopard tattoo on his right arm. 
The police believe that Whitehouse has connections with the West Midlands and Brighton and could head to either of these areas. 
Police urge anyone who sees Whitehouse not to approach him and to call 999, quoting incident 23 of 18 February.

So a dangerous criminal was serving a life sentence in a category D prison (aka an open prison) for brutally battering a 21-year-old female over the head with a brick after forcing her to have sex at knife-point in a graveyard in 1991? He had already absconded from an open prison when he committed this offence so who the hell thought that it was a good idea to move him to another open prison? Did it not cross their mind that he could escape again? He is a danger to the public and should not have been put in a low security prison! I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, this is why we need to bring back the death penalty for severe offenders, until we do then there will continue to be incidents like this. I just hope that, for the sake of public safety, he is caught soon.

2 pints of Family Law and 2 packets of Judges

Sir J Munby, President of the High Court’s Family Division, has said that there is a need to move away from judges holding hearings in a “palais de justice, sitting on an enormous throne”. He has also stated that courtrooms in the future, must be provided “where we need them” and pop-up courts could be held in buildings such as pubs or town halls.

F. Gibbs, legal editor for The Times, told of how Sir Munby suggested that litigants could even participate in Power of Attorney matters with online video links “from their kitchen tables”.

In March this year, Sir Munby even claimed that divorces will take place over mobile phones or laptops from next year (2017), with an online system meaning neither husband, wife nor the judge will need to be in a courtroom.
He said the click-for-divorce process was a “vision not of some distant future but what has to be”, and that the court system would no longer be “moored in the world if the late Mr Charles Dickens”.

A couple who agree to divorce will be able to answer online questionnaires about their marital history, wealth and income as well as arrangements made for their children. The online divorce costs around £400, saving a couple thousands of pounds in legal fees.

Click-for-divorce is all well and good if the couple amicably agree to divorce, but what about the cases where a spouse is being stubborn and making an amicable divorce impossible?
And what’s stopping a claimant getting pissed before their case is heard if we do have ‘courts’ held in pubs?

I know life evolves and so must the law but a court should be held in a building purposefully made for those matters, not in the local boozer with the local drunk watching over proceedings.

Family matters should be heard in private, I fail to understand why a family case would be held in a public place, it isn’t in the public’s interest to hear if A is divorcing B because they have cheated on them with C and now A has an STD as a result of B’s infidelity. All it will do is cause public humiliation for all parties involved.

Sorry but I have to say I’m out on this one!

The inquest of Alice Gross

Alice gross was 14 years-old when she was found buried in the river in Hanwell, West London, in September 2014, 7 weeks after she was reported missing.

The inquest into her death was held on the 27th of June 2016 and the court was informed of how the schoolgirl was found with above-normal traces of GHB after what is believed to have been a ‘serious sexual assault’ by her suspected killer, Arnis Zalkalns, a convicted murderer from Latvia.

Zalkalns, who arrived in Britain in 2007, had killed his wife 10 years earlier but slipped under the authorities radar due to EU Laws.As an EU national, he had gone under no background checks- meaning he was completely unknown to the British authorities. He was also arrested in 2009 on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 14 year-old girl just 2 miles away from where Alice was killed. The case was dropped after the alleged victim refused to make a statement.

Alice’s body was badly decomposed when it was found in the slit of the river bed, wrapped in bin liners from Zalkalns’ work-place and weighed down with a bicycle wheel and bricks. Logs about 1m in length- and piled above the towpath from where the council had cleared the undergrowth- had also been rolled into the river and stocked in a pyramid shape above Alice’s body.

Zalkalns’ returned to the scene at least 3 times in the days of Alice’s death and it was stated in court that the police cordon may have precipitated his suicide- he was found hanged from a tree in Boston Manor Park, Hounslow,  4 days later.

So no background checks were done on someone entering Britain and because he was an EU national he was free to come and go as he pleased. Thank god we voted out of the EU, I know it is too later to remedy justice for Alice but hopefully we will be able to put measures in place to make our country a safer environment for British nationals.

Too fat for court?

Regular readers of my blog will know how infuriated I get by the sheer laziness of people who claim they are ‘too fat’ for work etc, well now the excuse of being ‘too fat’ has extended to attending court.

Forklift truck driver weighing 34-stone refuses to turn up to drink driving sentencing because he’s ‘so fat he’s technically disabled’ (Daily Mail)

J. Wiech argued that his bulging belly counted as a disability which would spare him the trouble if answering the summons. He was due to appear before Magistrates in York after he was found slumped over his car steering wheel having downed 4 beers and a bottle of vodka. A breath test showed 68 micrograms of alcohol in his system- the legal limit is 35.
A warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to turn up to court on the 6th of June (2016) and was brought back to court under police guard.

Wiech, who speaks limited English, explained to the duty solicitor he had ‘mobility problems’ caused by his size, however, when the excuse was delivered to the bench, District Judge A. Lower, stated that this ‘was not an excuse’, also stating that Wiech could have covered the 15 miles journey by train or taxi, or both. The case was then adjourned again because a Polish interpreter was needed.
Under strict instructions to attend his trial, Wiech wheezed his way across the road from the bus stop opposite the court house.

On the day of the incident, Wiech had been found slumped over the steering wheel of his car parked outside the local village store by a passer by. His keys were found on the floor of the vehicle and he told police that he had downed 4 pints of beer and a glass of whickey after finishing his night shift. However, he had stopped drinking at 9am and did not drive until 2pm when he needed to visit the shop.

While parked outside the shop, he claims he had an argument with his ex wife over the phone and downed a ‘small’ bottle of vodka before dozing off. the next thing he remembered was being roused from his stupor by police.
He denied drink driving but admitted to a lesser charge of drunk in charge of a vehicle. He also admitted to failing to attend court and to having no insurance.

Wiech was fined £325 plus £85 court costs and a £30 surcharge. His licence was endorsed with 10 penalty points but he escaped a ban.
He was also told by District Judge D. Golding that he would not “get the same chance” if he appeared before them again.

I’m sorry but he should have been banned in my opinion. There is no excuse for failing to attend court because you’re fat and there is certainly no excuse for drinking whilst being in charge of a vehicle. The law needs to be tougher on people like this because all it shows is that an offender will get is a slap on the wrist if they break the law.

Hot hatch death race

I absolutely despise dangerous drivers. Driving is frustrating enough without idiots driving around like they’re on GTA and causing accidents and heartbreak for families. Not to mention the impact that racing around has on insurance premiums when there is an accident caused by someone driving dangerously. So you can imagine my delight when I read about two “boy racers”, racing their “hot hatches” on the dual carriageway of the A1.

Mohammed Abdul-Wahid, 32, was driving a high performance VW Golf R32 when he raced stranger, Ryan at speeds of more than 120mph. Ryan, 23, was driving a Honda Civic Type-R when he ended up on the same section of the carriageway as Abdul-Wahid. 

Prosecutors told the court that the pair had began racing each other at high speed in the early hours of the morning (4:30am to be exact) as they headed south on the A1 near Bowes Incline. Ryan lost control of his car and crashed, suffering major injuries, however, nothing could be done to save him. Witnesses also told the court that Abdul-Wahid went to overtake Ryan but had not been able to and the two cars ended up side by side, doing up to 124mph. 

Abdul-Wahid, who was on bail, was remanded in custody and was warned by Judge P Sloan QC that he faces a substantial prison sentence. Sentencing is adjourned until the 29th of July (2016). 

Now it’s all well and good having a high performance car to show off to your mates but it is pointless having it if you can’t handle the power it puts out. How many accidents are caused on Britains roads each year by dangerous drivers? Too many in my opinion. 

I mean giving a 23 year-old a Honda Civic Type-R, capable of 146mph, is just screaming for a fatality but Abdul-Wahid is 32, he should know better than to be racing around like he is part of Fast and the Furious. Then again he had a Golf, and I have noticed that the majority of Golf drivers have zero common sense and shit driving skills… But what was racing actually going to achieve? There are no prizes for breaking the speed limit, there are no medals for being reckless behind the wheel of a car. The only outcome is exactly what has happened. Let’s just hope his sentence is satisfactory to his crime and not just a cushy few weeks in prison. 

Justice for Liam: Part II

A while ago I wrote a post about Nyomi and Rachael Fee ,[Click here for related post] the two women who had been charged with murdering Rachael’s son Liam and also for abusing other children.

They have now had their trial, which lasted seven weeks, and the jury, who deliberated for ten hours, found them guilty of murder, plus seven other charges of abuse against Liam. The women were also found guilty of four counts of abuse against two other children.

Liam suffered a ruptured heart as a result of severe blunt force trauma to his body as well as a catalogue of injuries spanning over two years- including a broken leg and fractured arm.
The women were also found guilty of attempting to defeat the ends of justice after Liam died by trying to pin the blame for the death on one of the other young boys.

Sources report that the jurors were warned about the severity of the images they would be exposed to. Twelve minutes later a juror raised their hand to request a break in proceedings due to the images reducing some jurors to tears.
People in the public gallery were also warned by prosecutors that they may wish to leave the court room while the images were being shown.
Due to the sensitivities surrounding the boys’ age and nature of the evidence, the public were prevented from seeing the video which was recorded by detectives after Liams’ death. Only the media were allowed access to the court room during that time.

Their sentence has been dated for the 6th of July (2016), according to the BBC News website. Let’s hope they get life eh?

It poses the question of what social services were doing about the abuse. I mean surely they were involved with the women? So shouldn’t they have noticed that something wasn’t right? And if they did catch on to any abuse, why weren’t the children removed before the abuse got worse? If the social worker(s) had actually spent more time on this case rather than pissing about with cases which don’t need attention, maybe Liam would still be alive?  But we can’t blame the incompetence of social workers now can we?