The Crown Prosecution Service has admitted it got it wrong over a brutal assault shown on Inside the Force this week, as domestic abuse victims are urged to continue coming forward.
The episode, aired on Monday night, showed police watching the CCTV footage of the incident on Lincoln High Street, which saw the woman repeatedly hit by her unnamed partner and kicked while on the floor, at one point appearing unconscious.
Officers even commented during the episode that the victim was “lucky that she isn’t dead to be quite honest”.
However, the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to charge the man in the end, and he was released, only to then go on to re-offend just three weeks later — after which he was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison.
During the episode officers involved were visibly frustrated with the system and the decision by CPS.
Detective Perry Brock, who took the lead in the case, told the cameras: “You’ve got a vulnerable victim who has been abused probably all her life and still will be, and yet he’s just taken the piss out of society and knows how to do it and has been released.”
The offender appeared to show little remorse during the footage, refusing to answer any questions during the incident and only commenting “it’s an imperfect world”.
He also claims to suffer from MS, causing further issues for officers.
In a statement to Local Democracy Reporters, a spokesperson for the CPS said: “We have reviewed this case and the initial decision was not correct.
“However, the suspect was ultimately prosecuted for the offence committed.
“Domestic abuse is a high priority and the CPS and the police have several ways to ensure we get to the most appropriate outcome, including the facility for police officers to appeal CPS decisions.
“We can reassure the public that the CPS and police are working closely to ensure we continually improve our response to domestic abuse.”
Martyn Parker, assistant director public protection at Lincolnshire County Council – one of the leads for the county’s Domestic Abuse Partnership – said: “We would not want one decision to discourage people from coming forward, and our officers work tirelessly to bring offenders to justice every day.
“We would like to reassure people that there is an extensive package of support available for those experiencing, or who are at risk of, domestic abuse. This is alongside a number of early intervention initiatives.
“If you are a victim of domestic abuse or are concerned about a family member or friend, please reach out – we will listen to you.”
Viewers also took to social media to air their outrage at the decision.
Lynn Otter said on Facebook: “CPS should have gone to Specsavers,” while Colin Turner wrote “total joke”.
Ian Johnson said: “Proves yet again the CPS is not fit for purpose”.
Twitter user “Gord” tagged Lincolnshire Police asking: “How the hell can you do your job when CPS are on the attacker’s side? Does he need to kill her next time?” he asked.
Local Democracy Reporters recently spoke in depth to the Domestic Abuse Partnership, who said more victims of domestic abuse in Lincolnshire were reaching out for help following a series of high profile cases and initiatives both nationally and locally.
According to the latest figures from the Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Partnership, more than 10,000 incidents are reported to Lincolnshire Police every year.
For more information on domestic abuse, how to spot the signs and how to get support visit this website.
EDAN Lincs Domestic Abuse Service can be reached on 01522 510041 between 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.
The National Domestic Abuse Help line, a 24 hour free phone helpline, can also be called on 0808 2000 247.