WISBECH: Man who assaulted girlfriend wins freedom after Appeal Court hearing
A MAN who pushed his girlfriend over during a row - so that she smashed her face on a pot and suffered a host of facial injuries - was today freed from jail by top judges. Adam Anthony Yates, 45, will now serve a year-long sentence in the community, after
A MAN who pushed his girlfriend over during a row - so that she smashed her face on a pot and suffered a host of facial injuries - was today freed from jail by top judges.
Adam Anthony Yates, 45, will now serve a year-long sentence in the community, after top judges quashed his nine-month jail term at London's Court of Appeal. Yates, of Downham Road, Wisbech, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm at Norwich Crown Court in April this year.
The court heard that, in July last year, Yates was at home with his partner, Jena Sharpe, 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.
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Yates 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.
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"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.