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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 70517
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I've been charged with section 39 - assault by beating

Resolved Question:

I have recently been charged with section 39 - assault by beating (battery) on my partner. I was under the influence of alcohol and lashed out, hit his nose and bruised it, some blood. My partner has recently retracted his statement and they have said they are getting the file papers together and going to speak to Crown Prosecution. Apparently his staement is the only evidence along with the pictures they took of his nose. There were CCTV in the town centre but they havent mentioned them. Previous charges of assaulting to police officers, got suspended sentence, community service, fine, supervision and alcohol treatment. Completed all of those without problems. Mitigating factors are: history of depression (take Prozac), alcohol problems, recent breast cancer scare where i been referred to breast clinic, genetic scare regarding whether or not i can have kids, im quering ADHD by paying for a private psychiatrist to diagnose me, just referred myself to alcohol treatment, craig is writing a nice letter about me for court. The only aggravating features are my previous history (although slightly different charges, apparently my current charge is the lowest form of assault) and the fact that i went no comment through my interview without a solicitor. The reason for this was because my memory was hazy and couldnt remember. But on my release from custody they ashed whether i wanted to plead guilty or not guilty because it affected the court i went to, i answered i would plea guilty. What is the likely outcome of all of this??
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 7 years ago.
Do you remember the events now?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yes, everything he said in the statement was fully accurate. I had 2 cans of lager before going out. I had about 3 more pints of lager when out and a cocktail. I shouldnt have had a cocktail as i know it can make me behave aggressively. At that point i was drunk. My partner asked me to stop drinking as he had work early and wanted to go home. I said i wanted to go to two more pubs first. We were at that point stood in town centre, where he was asking to go home. He had his hands in his pocket and he said a swung for him with my left hand and swiped his nose, he fell straight to ground and i walked off. He said i then walked off some blokes cheered me and i said they could finish him off if they liked. Then he contacted the police i was arrested in another pub
Expert:  Jo C. replied 7 years ago.

I'm afraid that the likely outcome is that they will summons him. They may let him withdraw really for no better reason than that he is a man. If it were the other way around they would definitely summons him. But the chances are fairly high they will not let him withdraw.

You can't drop cases just be making a retraction statement. The truth is that he would have been better off saying nothing at all and just not attending court. They would not have a summons for him then

Are you asking what probable sentence you would get?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hi sorry to bother you i am still awaiting your reply regarding probable sentencing?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 7 years ago.

That will depend really on your previous.

I imagine the assault on PC was not the first act of violence judging from the sentence. If so, how many and when?

Also, are you still on a suspended sentence?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I was charged previously for 1) assaulting PC, a constable in execution of her duty. Contrary to section 89(1) of the Police Act 1966. 2) assaulting a CDO, a detention officer under Part 4 of the Police Reform Act 2002 acting in execution of her duty Contrary to section 46(1) of the Police Reform Act 2002. I was never charged with violence before other than stuff on record for drunken behaviour and breach of peace which i was never charged for. My suspended sentence ended end of July this year.

So whats likely to happen?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 7 years ago.

If the assault PC was the only violence on your record, the suspended sentence must have related to something else? If so, what ?

The assault on PC could not have been serious violence or they would have used another charge.

Please note that there may be a delay in coming back to you but it will be at some point in the early evening.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

There were no other offences other than assault police. They gave me suspended sentence i think because i spat on the officer??? They then gave me:

They sentenced me to imprisonment of 8 weeks, then suspended this for 12 months

A supervision period for 12 months to be supervised by a probation officer

Treatment for alcohol dependency for 6 months

80 hours community service

100 pound fine.

I honestly was not charged with any other offences.

The only previous offence to this was drink driving where they took my licence off me for 14 months.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 7 years ago.

That was rather harsh then. An assault upon a person acting in the course of their duty is an aggravating factor but its not worth a suspended sentence on a first offence.

In any event, if you are not on a suspended sentence now and you have no other violence than this on your record, and you are charged with a common assault then you really should escape custody.

There is only one aggravating factor here and that is that he did suffer injury even if it was only minor. I suppose they may not like the fact that it happened when you were under the influence of alcohol which does seem to be a theme of your antecedence from what you say but I don't think amounts to an aggravating factor. If there's only one aggravating factor then this should not cross the custody threshold unless there is concern that you will not comply with a community order or it will not protect the public.

If you've completed your previous orders that will be helpful. I suppose it depends how the alcohol order you had previously went. If you were not on an alcohol order then you may need to expect that type of order on this occasion. In any event, if you've done your community orders they would struggle to justify custody.

Of course, that does depend upon you being charged with common assault not ABH.

In future though, we never admit things at the police station. If you'd made a no comment interview then you may well have walked away with nothing here.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for that. Would previous uncharged incidences be considered re domestic violence? Or do they just go with charges? But i did plea guilty on release at the station so what would that mean even if i went no comment through interview??
Expert:  Jo C. replied 7 years ago.

If the Prosecutor mentions them then they may be considered by Magistrates even though they should not.

If you had done a no comment interview you wouldn't have to plead guilty. The difficulty you have is that you've admitted offenses so even if your partner retracts they can still prosecute you.

The previous matters should not impact on sentence hugely.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Ok in that case what is the likely sentence if go to court?

Can you recommend anything that will help my case and avoid prison?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 7 years ago.

On the basis of what you've said above its a community order.

There isn't really much you can do now. You will need a solicitor at court but there's nothing that can be done about the admissions you've already made.

If you access help yourself about any alcohol issues then that may be helpful.

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