WISBECH ABUSE CASE: Assaulted woman says she feels "let down by the law"

PUBLISHED: 13:05 12 June 2008 | UPDATED: 08:30 02 June 2010

jena sharpe, assault victim from wisbech

jena sharpe, assault victim from wisbech

EXCLUSIVE By LOUISE HUGHES ASSAULT victim Jena Sharpe spoke today of feeling let down by the law after the man who left her bruised, battered and her face split open was sensationally freed early from jail. The man who swept me off my feet during a h

adam yates, released from prison

EXCLUSIVE

By LOUISE HUGHES

ASSAULT victim Jena Sharpe spoke today of feeling "let down by the law" after the man who left her bruised, battered and her face split open was sensationally freed early from jail.

The man who "swept me off my feet" during a holiday romance in Spain was freed by the Appeal Court after his nine month jail term was reduced to a 12 month community sentence.

jena sharpe, assault victim from wisbech

Lawyers for Anthony Yates successfully argued at the Court of Appeal that his jail term was too long in the light of his early admission of guilty, a degree of provocation and the fact he had no significant history of violence.

But Jena. 39, of Tavistock Road, Wisbech, said: "Reducing his sentence has been a kick in the teeth. Despite going through hell, I feel let down by a law which is meant to protect people.

"How can the Government encourage victims to come forward to report domestic violence if there isn't sufficient sentences being given out by the courts?"

Yates, 45, had previously admitted assault causing actual bodily harm when he appeared before Norwich Crown Court in April.

His attack had left Ms Yates with two scars on her face, loss of feeling around her right eye, and severe bruising to her face, neck, arms and body.

Now she has written to Malcolm Moss, the MP for NE Cambs, questioning the early release of criminals in domestic violence cases.

"It is shocking he is out of prison already," she said.

But Mr Justice Evans told the Appeal Court: "This assault was by means of a push. There was no weapon and no repeated blows.

"The consequence of this push was wholly unforeseen and unintended."

Miss Yates, however, is unhappy that her former partner has been released and said "his controlling ways and violent temper turned me into a nervous wreck."

Louise Hughes reports on the Appeal Court hearing and the aftermath

A DOMESTIC violence victim has written to MP Malcolm Moss after her ex-partner won his appeal and was released early from jail.

Adam Anthony Yates will now carry out a year-long sentence in the community rather serve 10 months in prison.

"Reducing his sentence has been a kick in the teeth," said Jena Sharpe, who was attacked by Yates.

She has contacted North-East Cambridgeshire MP Malcolm Moss questioning the early release of criminals in domestic violence cases.

"Following the appeal, I know Yates has a longer sentence working in the community but it is shocking he is out of prison already," she said.

"The police, my advocacy worker, Victim Support and the CPS put a lot of hours into the case. And it took a lot of guts to press those charges against him.

"But despite going through hell, I feel let down by a law which is meant to protect people.

"How can the Government encourage victims to come forward to report domestic violence if there isn't sufficient sentences being given out by the courts?"

Miss Sharpe, of Tavistock Road, in Wisbech spoke publicly about her horrific ordeal when Yates started his prison sentence in April.

He had previously admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm at Norwich Crown Court for the attack in July last year.

On Monday, the Court of Appeal in London heard that the couple were at home together when they began to argue.

Mr Justice Roderick Evans, sitting with Mr Justice Aikens, said Miss Sharpe went into the kitchen of the house and smashed some plates.

Yates, of Downham Road, followed her as she tried to go upstairs and pushed her once, causing her to fall forwards and hit her face on a pot on the floor.

She sustained a 'number of cuts and bruises' to her face and her right eye was so swollen she was unable to open it, the judge said, and she had stitches at hospital.

"Miss Sharpe said the whole right side of her face was swollen and there were bruises on her forearms," he added.

When arrested, Yates told police he did not intend to cause the injuries and 'regretted what had occurred'.

His lawyers argued that Yates's jail term was 'too long' in the light of his early admission of guilt, a degree of provocation and the fact he had no 'significant history' of violence.

They also argued that Yates' property development business, and the jobs of those he employed, could be under threat if he was forced to serve a long jail term.

Mr Justice Evans said he found it 'difficult' to agree with the argument that Yates had been provoked, but said: "This assault was by means of a push.

"There was no weapon and no repeated blows.

"The consequence of this push was wholly unforeseen and unintended."

He said the offence was aggravated by the fact that Miss Sharpe's young son was at home at the time of the incident and, although he did not see the assault, he 'certainly saw the injuries'.

"Balancing the aggravating and mitigating factors we are satisfied that an immediate term of custody was well within the means of the court," said Mr Justice Evans.

But he added: "Yates has now spent a period in custody and, in all the circumstances, we conclude that the best way to ensure the risk of future offending is reduced is to follow the recommendations set out in his pre-sentence report.

"It is our intention to quash the term imposed at the Crown Court and to impose in its place a community order."

Yates will now be subject to supervision in the community for 12 months, and must also attend a domestic abuse rehabilitation programme.

n Miss Sharpe recommends that anyone going through a similar situation should visit women's aid website at www.womensaid.org.uk or read advice coming up in July's edition of Glamour magazine.


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