The issue of domestic violence is hitting the headlines once again. Charles Saatchi’s alleged attack on Nigella Lawson has been splashed over the tabloids up and down the country. This highlighted the existence of Domestic Violence across all walks of life.
Alongside this press frenzy, there are proceedings being heard at Stafford Crown Court this week on the murder of Charlotte Smith who was allegedly battered to death by her husband.
This incident which occurred on the 3rd of September last year portrays the most severe end of the Domestic Violence spectrum. The Daily Telegraph have recently reported the case, detailing how Charlotte’s husband, Devendra Singh, was “prone to heavy drinking and aggression” in their relationship and as a result, Charlotte was unhappy. When Charlotte discussed the option of a Divorce with Singh, he allegedly flew into a rage and battered his wife of three years with a wooden elephant ornament.
This brutal attack depicts the severe danger that people face when living with a violent partner. It also highlights the importance of individuals protecting themselves when they are threatened with physical violence.
The Courts can afford a certain level of protection to victims of abuse, like Nigella and Charlotte, under a non-molestation order otherwise known as an injunction and also an occupation order. Together these orders can offer various protections including prohibiting a person from assaulting or harassing the other party, restricting them from coming within a certain distance of a property and even enforcing the person to vacate a property by a certain day and not return thereafter.
If a partner then goes on to breach a non-molestation order, they can be arrested for the crime of breaching the order and will be brought before the Court within a 24-hour period. The offence is punishable by up to five years imprisonment.
Where there is aggression or actual domestic violence it is imperative that an individual considers speaking to a solicitor about a non-molestation order. Particularly if, like in Charlotte’s circumstances, they are considering divorce proceedings this can often stoke the fire and potentially cause dire circumstances as we have unfortunately seen in Charlotte’s case.
By Family Law Solicitor Charlotte Brinsley