Isle of Wight domestic abuser jailed for breaching restraining order
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An Isle of Wight man convicted of the new offence of non-fatal strangulation has been jailed after breaching his restraining order whilst serving a suspended sentence.
Non-fatal strangulation became an offence in its own right, separate to assault, on 7 June this year, under section 70 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021.
At around 11.50pm on 17 June this year, 26-year-old Joshua James Hunt assaulted a woman known to him in the Little London area of Newport by grabbing her by the throat.
The woman also sustained bruising to her arms as a result of the attack. She attempted to free herself from Hunt’s grip, and he let go when he noticed a number of members of the public were around, on their way home from the Isle of Wight Festival.
He then proceeded to strangle the woman again to the point she could not breathe, before three members of the public approached the couple and police were called.
Hunt, of Petticoat Lane in Newport, was arrested and subsequently charged with non-fatal strangulation and breach of a restraining order, both of which he admitted when appearing before Magistrates on 23 June this year.
This was Hampshire Constabulary’s first conviction for non-fatal strangulation, and one of the first of its kind in the country.
At his sentencing hearing on 23 August, Hunt was given an 18 month sentence, suspended for two years.
Just two days later, police were contacted by the Probation Service after Hunt attended an appointment accompanied by the victim in this case – a further breach of his existing restraining order.
He was subsequently arrested and charged, and appeared before His Honour Judge Shepherd at Newport Crown Court today (26 September).
The judge jailed him for 20 months. This was comprised of 16 months of the previous suspended sentence order being activated, with an additional 4 months following Hunt’s guilty plea on 5 September to the restraining order breach. Hunt was also ordered to pay a £187 victim surcharge.
Acting Chief Inspector Andy McDonald said: “Tackling perpetrators of domestic abuse is an absolute priority for us on the Island, and it is so important that we maximise every possible opportunity to monitor offenders out in the community.
“Ancillary orders such as restraining orders are crucial in limiting the opportunity for criminals to offend, and also allowing us to take further action against dangerous individuals who show blatant disregard for restrictions imposed by the court.
“Hunt poses a significant risk to the woman in this case, and that is made clear by the shocking and violent assault he committed against her in a public place.
“I am grateful to the Probation workers who identified Hunt’s further offending and raised the alarm to police. Their efforts show what a strong and effective partnership we have here on the Island to safeguard vulnerable people.
“I would urge anyone suffering domestic abuse to seek support, and not suffer in silence. Please call the police or a domestic abuse support service. Your calls will be taken seriously.”
We appreciate not everyone has the confidence to report to police. However, there are organisations in your area, completely independent of the police that can help you if you need it.
The Paragon team – part of the charity The YOU Trust – provide specialist support to victims of stalking and domestic abuse on the Isle of Wight. You can visit their website here: https://paragonteam.org.uk/