Aspects of violence

Published date01 June 2021
Date01 June 2021
Subject MatterIn court
In court
In court
Nigel Stone, Visiting Fellow in the School of Psychology, University of East Anglia,
reviews recent appeal judgments and other judicial developments that inform sen-
tencing and early release.
Aspects of violence
Threat in prison interview to murder wife: Extended sentence?
Immediately after his release from custodial remand on a charge of assaulting his
wife J. and whilst subject to a bail condition not to contact her, C. learned that she
had been involved sexually with another man (B.) whilst he had been in prison,
prompting him to assault her further (ABH) and to cause damage, offences attracting
22 months’ imprisonment and an indefinite restraining order in her favour. Aged in
his early 30s, he had subjected J. to a sustained ordeal in which he told her that she
was his hostage and she sustained multiple bruising and cuts from a knife, including
to her neck. When interviewed shortly after sentence for a risk assessment by two
prison-based probation officers, C. had told them – in what they described as a very
cold and emotionless way – that the release process did not matter to him as he
would be coming back to prison very soon for the rest of his life. Though he claimed
to be ‘keeping [J.] sweet’ for the present he was resolved to kill her and B. because
of his anger and resentment against them. He repeated his intention to murder B.
when re-interviewed a few days later, in what was considered a ‘matter-of-fact’
manner. He was assessed to consider violence and the threats of violence to be
acceptable and normal. Though J. had initiated contact with C. following sentence
he had breached the restraining order by illicit phone calls and letters to her from
prison, using a false name to evade notice, though these communications had not
contained any threats.
The probation officers’ concerns were relayed to the police. When eventually
interviewed nearly 7 months later, C. did not dispute his threats, acknowledging his
anger towards J. and B. at the time but claimed that he was no longer angry with
them as he had calmed down and had been attending a custodial anger man-
agement course. On his early release in respect of the 22 month sentence he was
immediately subject to licence revocation in light of pending prosecution for making
The Journal of Community and Criminal Justice
Probation Journal
2021, Vol. 68(2) 290–303
ªThe Author(s) 2021
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/02645505211002319

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