Man who threatened to ‘batter’ assault victim if he didn’t drop charges avoids jail

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Miguel Angelo Santos Goncalves (31) admitted two assault charges, one of disorderly behaviour and two of perverting the course of justice, and was sentenced to a year’s probation and 200 hours of community service by the Royal Court yesterday.

Delivering the court’s sentence, Deputy Bailiff Robert MacRae said: ‘It must be understood that perverting the course of justice is an offence that strikes at the heart of the judicial system.

‘Victims must know the court will give them protection and defendants must understand that intimidating victims will almost always result in immediate custody.

‘Had it not been for your time already on remand, you would have been facing immediate custody.’

Crown Advocate Chris Baglin, prosecuting, said the first assault related to an incident on 28 May 2017.

The victim was walking with friends in the West’s Centre area when the defendant shouted at him. He was ignored, but began to approach the victim and was acting aggressively.

The victim pushed Goncalves’ hand away from him, when the defendant punched him in the mouth, causing the victim to bleed. Crown Advocate Baglin said his offence has taken three years to come to court, as the defendant failed twice to appear at a parish hall inquiry.

On 12 August, the defendant sent numerous messages to his former partner, and after seeing her driving, began to follow her. When she got out of her vehicle he approached her and started shouting.

He went back to his car and continued to shout when she approached him. She described him as ‘shaking with anger’.

He got out of his car and jumped on the bonnet, which led to the charge of disorderly conduct.

Later that same day Goncalves committed the second assault when he went to a restaurant in St Helier and spoke with his former girlfriend’s new partner before pushing him in the mouth.

In December 2019 and February this year he twice perverted the course of justice while on bail by attempting to get the first victim to drop the assault charges.

In the first instance they spoke near a café at Cheapside, and he also confronted the victim in town and said: ‘You will see what will happen after court. I am going to batter you.’

Advocate Baglin read a victim impact statement in court from the first assault victim, who said he was fearful as to what the defendant would do and wanted a restraining order taken out.

He moved for a sentence of 14 months in prison.

Advocate Julia-Anne Dix, defending, said her client disputed what was said in the exchanges relating to perverting the course of justice, which she described as ‘foolish and stupid acts’.

She said her client was well aware of how serious the offences were, but a non-custodial sentence was not unheard of.

Advocate Dix said: ‘He asks the court to give him a chance to work with probation to address his issues, resume work and see his children. He wants to put his period of custody behind him.’

Jurats Jerry Ramsden and Robert Christensen were sitting.

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