Man freed despite 18-week sentence

A JUDGE has asked for an explanation as to why a man accused of domestic violence was charged with common assault not actual bodily harm.

Judge Jason Taylor QC said the decision meant he was restricted to a maximum sentence of six months rather than five years he came to sentencing Tobi Kent.

And because the 30-year-old, who also assaulted three police officers, had done the time on remand he walked free from court.

The Broughton Gifford man had been due to stand trial for GBH but that charge was dropped as the complainant couldn’t face going to court.

Sue Cavender, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court that dropping the more serious allegation was ‘the least worst option’ because of the stress it was causing the woman.

The court heard how she had been in a relationship with Kent for about 18 months which she claimed had been punctuated with his violence.

Miss Cavender said last year they were outside Aldi in Melksham where, though he was heard saying she had punched him, witnesses thought he was the aggressor.

No charges were brought as a result of that but on Sunday November 4 police went to her flat to speak to her.

At the property he ran off, smashing a door into a pursuing police woman, and then spat at another officer which also hit a colleague.

She said the woman then told how a couple of days earlier he had repeatedly punched and kicked her leaving her covered in bruises to her chest, legs and arms.

After seeing the pictures the judge said ‘That is very extensive bruising: that is more than common assault,’ adding he wanted an explanation why it wasn’t ABH.

Kent, of Woodpecker Close, Broughton Gifford, admitted four common assaults and denied GBH and criminal damage, which were both dropped.

Clair Fear, defending, said her client had been on remand since his arrest meaning he had served more than the maximum sentence for the offences.

She said though he had lengthy previous convictions they were not for violence but mainly theft to feed a drug habit but the time inside has led to him getting clean.

Jailing him for 18 weeks the judge said: “When police came to the house you tried to get away, you then assaulted the officers. One officer you deliberately slammed a door on as she tried to stop you. You spat, which is particularly ugly and unattractive.

“Your partner then reported a few days earlier you had assaulted her in the kitchen. You were exhibiting bullying behaviour.

It is quite clear she has suffered extensive bruising. I find this whole state of affairs unsatisfactory.

“It seems clear these injuries merited a charge of actual bodily harm but as you weren’t charged with that my sentencing powers are committed to those of the court below.”

This is Wiltshire

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