Community service for man who bruised woman during a struggle

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Kyle Thomas James Walker, who runs his own business, pleaded guilty to assaulting a woman on 1 July.

The court heard that Walker was involved in a scuffle with the woman around midday and, as the two struggled, he put his hands around her neck with enough force to leave bruises, although the victim did not lose consciousness.

Walker was arrested in St Helier later that night and has been on remand for 130 days.

After being examined by a doctor, the victim was found to have a number of injuries including bruising to the neck, arm and lower back. The doctor concluded that Walker would have used ‘moderate to severe force’ to cause the bruising seen on the victim’s neck.

Crown Advocate Conrad Yates, prosecuting, said it was accepted that there had been a degree of provocation involved in the assault. However, he noted that Walker had previous convictions, including two for affray and one for grave and criminal assault in 2011.

Crown Advocate Yates said Walker was assessed as being at ‘high risk’ of reoffending due to his chronic misuse of alcohol and drugs and that the Crown considered a sentence of 15 months to be appropriate.

Advocate Michael Haines, defending, told the court that Walker had recognised the problems drugs and alcohol had played in his life and apologised for his actions. ‘He accepts unequivocally that his behaviour was wrong,’ he said.

Advocate Haines said that, while the amount of provocation involved was ‘extreme’, Walker ‘accepts that he should not have reacted’.

He asked that the court consider community service and probation, saying that Walker had already served the equivalent of a six-month sentence and suffered financial losses of over £20,000 as a result.

Jurats Charles Blampied and Jane Ronge deliberated for around 40 minutes.

In handing down the sentence, the Bailiff, Sir William Bailhache, said that while there was ‘extreme’ provocation involved the ‘victim had a right not to be assaulted’ and Walker’s actions were ‘completely unacceptable’.

‘The court has found this to be a difficult case,’ he said, adding that while the serious nature of the assault was recognised, they sought to be ‘constructive’ in sentencing.

He ordered that Walker complete 150 hours of community service and serve 18 months’ probation, warning him that if he did not do the community service, a 15-month prison sentence could be triggered.

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