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Judge praised victim of domestic violence for coming forward

A judge has praised a victim of domestic violence for coming forward to get justice after she was regularly bullied and assaulted, once with a knife which cut her face.

At Gloucester Crown Court yesterday (Jan 21) Judge Ian Lawrie QC spoke directly to the victim after sentencing her former partner, Danny Carter, 27, of Kingsholm Road, Gloucester a jail sentence of two years and three months.

"Any woman who has had to suffer the level of violence you did in a relationship and has the courage to come forward and report it should be applauded," the judge told her.

"Not only did you report it but you went through with the case.

"And by seeing it through, the perpetrator eventually realised he had done something wrong.

"Unfortunately these type of offences are all too common and have increased significantly during the pandemic lockdown, for obvious reasons.

"The court and justice system relies on people like you coming forward. It's not easy going through the emotional turmoil of the court process, outlining the impact the coercive behaviour has had on your life.

"This sentence is not going to make you any happier, but I hope it goes someway in showing that he has been punished."

Prosecutor George Threlfall explained that Carter had regularly bullied and assaulted his partner for a year and on August 3 2020 everything came to a head.

Mr Threlfall said on that evening that Carter had verbally threatened his partner and grabbed a knife with one hand while holding her by the throat with the other, causing significant bruising.

He then used the knife in another attack on his victim and cut her cheek, putting her in fear of her life.

Mr Threlfall then explained that Carter then compounded the situation by ordering his victim to cover up any evidence of his violence by telling her not to go to work because of the marks on her throat should not to be seen in public.

The court heard that Carter then continued the harassment by telling her she should inform anybody she met that the injuries she sustained were inflicted by herself, forcing her to lie to her family and friends about what really happened.

Sarah Jenkins defending said: "Substance abuse has clouded Carter's thinking and forms a diagnosis of his issues.

"However, having been in custody without drugs for a period of time he has since reflected on his offending and is now remorseful about his behaviour.

"At the time there must have been something significant in his life that caused him to go off the rails as he did."

Carter pleaded guilty to the assault of his former partner causing her actual bodily harm on August 3, 2020 and coercive and controlling behaviour between August 7, 2019 and August 4, 2020.

Judge Ian Lawrie said to Carter: "Whatever the prompted you into your behaviour, you then embarked on a sustained act of violence against your former partner.

"Your behaviour was consistent with bullying that has been a feature of your behaviour in the past and the hallmark of your relationship at the time.

"It is clear you are emotionally dysfunctional in light of you background and upbringing.

"You chose to bully your partner on the day in question and by your actions you have landed yourself in court today.

"The passage of time will not lessen the effects on your victim. You indulged in a sustained attack and indulged in a period of coercive behaviour lasting a year.

"You denied the offending while being interviews and even suggested that the victim had made all the allegations up because she had her own problems.

"But what this does is to show your reluctance your own offending, showing little remorse. Attempting to pass the blame on to your victim is not acceptable.

"The victim was subjected to repeated assaults and you used a weapon to carry this out.

"And then you took steps to get her to hide the injuries you inflicted on her. You made her lie about her situation.

"However, because you have been locked up while on remand you have had a chance to reflect on your offending. At last, you have finally accepted your offending behaviour."

The judge sentenced Carter to two years and three months in prison, imposed a five-year restraining order for him not to contact his victim and pay a victim surcharge of £181.

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