Domestic violence needs a stern response

By Mick O'Reilly   |   Editor   |
Saturday 23rd July 2022 11:00 am
@CambrianMick
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File photo of an abuse victim
(Pixabay )

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Last week, the Cambrian News highlighted the case of a Tregaron man, Gwynli Edwards, of Lletemddu, Stags Head, who appeared before Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on 29 June.

Edwards, 48, pleaded guilty to assaulting Pamela Edwards on 2 February at Sunny Hill pub in Tregaron as well as a charge of engaging in controlling or coercive behaviour towards Mrs Edwards between Christmas Day 2021 and 1 March.

The court heard a series of incidents that included two of the victim’s tyres being slashed, a knife being used to repeatedly stab a mobile phone, her spectacles being targeted, that all together had “a serious effect” on Mrs Edwards.

He was sentenced to 26 weeks in jail, suspended for 24 months.

Magistrates said the assault was an “unprovoked attack of a serious nature”, with the “use of a bar stool as a weapon on more than one occasion”, but decided to suspend the jail sentence as Edwards had no previous convictions.

Edwards was also made the subject of a restraining order and must attend rehabilitation activities.

He must also pay costs of £85 as well as a surcharge to fund victim services of £128.

As far as this newspaper is concerned, the culprit should consider himself a lucky man to still be at liberty. The reality is that unless courts take the stern action against those responsible, the scourge of domestic violence endures.

For too long, victims suffer in fear and silence, and those in the field will note that when a call is eventually made, many other incidents of violence have likely gone before. According to statistics from the UK Government, 5.5 per cent of adults aged between 16 and 74 in England and Wales suffered domestic violence in the 12 months prior to March 2021.

If you suspect someone is being abused — and that includes physical, psychological, financial or emotional abuse — reach out to the many services that are on offer.

Sadly too, a significant proportion of murder cases attended to by police are the fatal culmination of domestic abuse. It’s too late then to say “if only we were able to do something...”

Our magistrates are in the position of being able to do something. They should not let that opportunity slip again.

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