July 4, 2022 4.24 pm

Lincolnshire Police’s first ‘non-fatal strangulation’ charge for wanted man

He will now face a trial

Officers have charged a man under new legislation which was introduced last month to protect victims of domestic abuse.

Benjamin Flatters, aged 31, of Dorchester Road, Spalding was charged with non-fatal strangulation following an alleged assault, reported to us on 23 June.

Flatters appeared at Lincoln Magistrates Court on 1 July where he pleaded not guilty to the strangulation charge.

Flatters pleaded guilty to three other charges of criminal damage to property, threats to damage property and failure to comply with notification requirements of the sex offenders register. He was remanded into custody and will face trial for the strangulation charge at a later date.

The charge of non-fatal strangulation comes as a result of the creation of a new offence under the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 which was introduced nationally on 7 June 2022.

Crucially, the new offence carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment.

Victims of strangulation may be left with little or no physical marks meaning previously, a charge of actual bodily harm or common assault may have been applied, which did not reflect the serious nature of the act.

DI Richard Nethercott said: “The new legislation is potentially life changing and lifesaving. If found guilty of non-fatal strangulation, a perpetrator will face up to five years in prison.

“Along with non-fatal suffocation, it’s a form of abuse that we sadly sometimes see in a domestic setting, where a perpetrator will use it to intimidate and control their victim. It’s terrifying to endure and incredibly dangerous.

“We are committed to using our powers to tackle abuse, including non-fatal strangulation and non-fatal suffocation.

“The new legislation is an important step forwards in tackling violence against women and girls.”

If you have been affected

If you or your children are in immediate danger you should always call 999. If it is not safe to speak use the ‘silent solution.’ Press 5 5 when prompted and this will tell us that you need us.

You can also access help from specialist domestic abuse services:

EDAN Lincs Lincolnshire’s Domestic Abuse Support Service, helping all women, men and children experiencing domestic abuse.

The National Domestic Violence Helpline is a 24hr Freephone available on 0808 2000 247 operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

SafeLives offer advice for victims and professionals.

Galop – the national LGBT+ anti-violence charity are available on 0800 999 5428.

If you are a child or young person and domestic abuse is happening in your home or relationship, tell someone you trust, like a teacher. You can also call Childline on 0800 1111.

The Men’s Advice Line is for male victims of domestic abuse and can be reached on 0808 8010327.

Safe spaces are available in UK pharmacies including Boots, Superdrug, Morrisons and many independent pharmacies. Go to the healthcare counter and ask to use the safe space where you can access support.

If you are worried about your own behaviour

At home shouldn’t mean at risk. There is no excuse for abuse. If you are worried about your behaviour, get help.

Make a Change operate in Lincolnshire – contact 01522 246616 or email: [email protected]

Alternatively, call the national Respect helpline on 0808 802 4040.