Sir Michael Birt, Kt., Bailiff, and Jurats Olsen and Liston.
The Attorney General
Sentencing by the Inferior Number of the Royal Court, following a guilty plea to the following charge:
1 count of:
Assault (Count 1A).
Age: 33 but 31 at time of offence.
Details of Offence:
During an altercation between the defendant and the victim, the defendant forcefully tried to pull the engagement ring off the victim's finger causing swelling and reddening. The defendant was originally charged with a grave and criminal assault, which was subsequently abandoned by the Prosecution, failing which this matter would have been dealt with in the Magistrate's Court.
Details of Mitigation:
Guilty plea; excellent work record; low risk of reoffending; previous good character.
6 months' Binding Over Order.
Sentence and Observations of Court:
Ms S. E. Fitz, Crown Advocate.
Advocate J. W. R. Bell for the Defendant.
1. During an altercation between you Mr Holzmeier, and your then fiancée in May 2012, in the course of which you both received minor injuries, you tried forcibly to pull off the engagement ring, which caused swelling and reddening to her ring finger. As the Crown has said, you were both taken to the Police Station but neither of you made any complaint against the other. You separated in the latter part of 2012 and in May 2013 your former fiancée then made a complaint against you which led to your being charged. The complaint led to you initially being charged with grave and criminal assault but you have pleaded guilty to common assault as we have just described and the Crown have accepted this. The charge of grave and criminal assault has been dismissed.
2. You have no previous convictions and you have an excellent work record. The probation report assesses you as being at low risk of offending and, in particular, at low risk in terms of any domestic abuse. The report has said that as a result there is, in their opinion, no need for a Probation Order or for you to attend the ADAPT course. This is all supported by your ex-wife who is the mother of your 10 year old daughter. She has said that there were never any issues of emotional or physical abuse whilst she was with you and, indeed, she says you were a loving and caring husband who would not intentionally "harm a fly" as she put it. This assessment of you is supported by your current girlfriend who is expecting your child.
3. You must realise that the Court's policy on domestic violence is usually to impose a significant sentence in order to protect women in their own home. But for the reasons which we have just summarised and, in particular, having regard to all the excellent references that have been produced, the contents of the background report and the very minor nature of the assault to which you have pleaded guilty, the Court agrees that a binding-over order is appropriate. Had this matter not originally been a charge of grave and criminal assault, it would never have come up to the Royal Court.
4. The Court binds you over for 6 months. What this means is that, provided you behave yourself for 6 months and do not get into trouble again, then you will hear nothing more about this. If, on the other hand, you do commit a further offence within the 6 months, then not only will you be dealt with for that offence, but you can then be punished for this offence. That is the order of the Court.