Judge’s anger over domestic assaults

09-0565-2''Mansfield Magistrates Court
09-0565-2''Mansfield Magistrates Court
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A district judge has criticised prosecutors after a violent boyfriend walked free from court because she said he had been charged with the wrong offence.

Joshua Philip Eaton appeared before Mansfield Magistrates’ Court last week charged with a string of attacks on his then girlfriend Jamie-Lee Fines between March and May.

Eaton (23) had become increasingly possessive of his partner as the relationship developed and started to assault her in jealous rages, the court heard.

In an incident on 7th March after Miss Fines had been out drinking, Eaton had attacked her in bed, climbing on top of her and smashing her head and neck into the mattress, making it hard for the mother-of-two to breath.

The violence had escalated and during the final incident, on 19th May, Eaton had repeatedly punched his partner.

There were also assaults on 5th and 12th May, and a separate incident on 11th May when Eaton had taken Miss Fines black Astra car from Nottingham Road, and hidden it in the car park of the nearby Talbot Inn.

But district judge Diane Baker criticised the Crown Prosecution Service for only charging Eaton, of Evelyn Devonshire Cottages, Hardstoft, Chesterfield, with common assault - severely restricting her sentencing powers.

Additionally, Eaton had been put on a curfew prior to his conviction and would effectively walk free if he was given a custodial sentence.

She told Eaton: “You are a violent, controlling bully - your behaviour is disgusting and you should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself. You deserve at least nine months in prison, but I do not have that power.”

Eaton was given four, eighteen week prison terms, suspended for two years, two years supervision and a further three-month curfew. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 in compensation to Miss Fines.