It seems to defy most people’s thinking and standards of justice that a thug who lived in Machynlleth who engaged in a series of serious assaults on a local woman has only ended up with a 32-month custodial sentence.
Andrew Craig Page, aged 36, of no fixed abode was sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on Monday, 24 July, after changing his plea to guilty on the first day of his trial for attacking his former partner, threatening her with a knife and strangling her to the point where she lost consciousness. In the opinion of this newspaper — and likely too most right-thinking people — he can consider himself very lucky indeed.
Knowing that he will, with good behaviour and keeping his nose clean while behind bars, mean that he is potentially free again in 16 months, does nothing to provide comfort to his victim. Nor indeed provide any sense to the wider community that justice has been done.
The court heard Page turned violent when he bullied his girlfriend over her phone being on silent. His behaviour escalated to him picking up a knife and threatening to kill the woman.
During the attack he threw her on the floor, followed her up the stairs with a knife in his hand and made her leave the door open while she used the toilet, strangled her until she passed out and repeatedly accused her of trying to play the victim.
Days later, he assaulted her again and during the attack continued his threats, saying: “You have to die this time.” Page also smashed her TV.
Thugs don’t change — once a beater of women, always a beater of women.
If you are in an abusive relationship, get out. And stay out of it. And use any or all of the services that are available to partners in abusive relationships.
All too often, domestic violence escalates to the point where victims are very seriously assaulted — or end up dead.
Our police forces rightly have no leeway when it comes to the pressing of charges.
But our courts and those who sit in judgement must take the offences very seriously indeed, with no leniency offered and heavy custodial sentences imposed at the earliest opportunity.
No one should live with domestic abuse for a single minute.