Frances Murray of Kangs Solicitors was instructed by an ex- serviceman, employed by the Royal Military, who had been charged with controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate family relationship, following a complaint made by his estranged wife to Sussex Police.
The Trial | Kangs Criminal Trial Solicitors
The matter was listed before the Court, where the complainant, who had a history of making false allegations against our client, was expertly cross examined.
The Claimant made admissions which were adverse to the Prosecution case and the Court decided that the case was not proven against our client who was acquitted of all charges.
The Court decided that the evidence did not meet the criteria set out in the legislation which governs this new offence.
Our client was absolutely delighted, as he would have suffered serious damage to his reputation if convicted.
What is the New Offence | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors
This offence is constituted by:
- behavior of a controlling or coercive nature on the part of the perpetrator which takes place repeatedly or continuously (‘the behavior’),
- the victim and perpetrator must be personally ‘connected’ at the time the behavior takes place.
- the behavior must have a serious effect ‘on the victim’ whereby there has been fear of violence on at least two occasions or a substantial adverse effect on the victim’s day to day activities.
- the perpetrator must have known that the behavior would have a serious effect upon the victim or that he or she ought to have known it would have such an effect.
Controlling behavior is the conduct of one or more of a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate /dependant by, for example:
- isolating that person from sources of support,
- exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain,
- depriving them of their independence,
- preventing their resistance and escape
by regulating their everyday behavior.
Coercive behavior is a continuing act or pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten the victim.
Examples of Controlling or Coercive Behavior include:
- Isolation from friends and family;
- Monitoring movement and travel;
- Controlling finances;
- Repeatedly destroying confidence by jibes of worthlessness;
- Enforcing rules and activities designed to humiliate, degrade or dehumanize.
The behavior can take place at or away from the home, in the latter case by, for example, having a person followed or monitoring their routine.
Sentencing | Kangs Solicitors Criminal Team
The offence carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment, a fine or both.
Possible Defences | Criminal Defence Solicitors
- The Prosecution must show that the behavior must have a serious effect on the victim, as defined by the law.
- The defendant may be able to show the belief that he or she was acting in the best interests of the victim and that in the particular circumstances their behavior was objectively reasonable.
However, this defence is not available to a defendant who has caused another person to fear that violence may be used.
How Can Kangs Solicitors Help You? | Kangs Criminal Solicitors
Kangs Solicitors are regularly instructed to represent people who are either under investigation, charged or appealing their conviction / sentence.
We have a proven track record of securing acquittals and successful appeals.
Who Can I Contact For Help | Specialist Criminal Solicitors
Arrangements can be made to meet at any of our offices in Birmingham, London and Manchester.
Please feel free to contact our crime team through either of the following who will be happy to speak to you and guide you.