Non-fatal strangulation became an offence in its own right, separate to assault, on 7th June this year, under section 70 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021.
Yesterday (Thursday), 26-year-old Joshua James Hunt, of Petticoat Lane in Newport, pleaded guilty to the offence at Isle of Wight Magistrates’ Court.
At around 23:50 on 17th June this year, Hunt grabbed a woman by the throat in the Little London area of Newport. The woman also sustained bruising to her arms as a result of the assault. She attempted to free herself from Hunt’s grip, and he let go when he noticed a number of members of the public were around, on their way home from the Isle of Wight Festival.
He then proceeded to strangle the woman again to the point she could not breathe, before 3 members of the public approached the couple and police were called.
Hunt was arrested and subsequently charged with non-fatal strangulation and breach of a restraining order, both of which he admitted when appearing before Magistrates. He has been remanded in custody to appear at Isle of Wight Crown Court for sentencing on 23rd August.
Chief Superintendent Dave Powell, Force lead for Domestic Abuse, said:
“Tackling domestic abuse, and those who perpetrate it, is a priority for us and we welcome this conviction.
“This was a shocking and violent assault, and I am pleased that such swift action has been taken against the man responsible.
“I am grateful to PC James White and the team who led the investigation for recognising, interpreting and applying this new legislation so quickly to ensure the most robust response was undertaken when dealing with this awful crime.
“The legislation under which Hunt was charged only came into effect on 7 June this year. We hope this conviction reassures the public that Hampshire Constabulary and our partners will take every proactive effort in targeting domestic abuse perpetrators, applying new legislation swiftly, and protecting vulnerable victims.
“We would urge anyone who feels they are a victim of domestic abuse not to suffer in silence. Please call the police or a domestic abuse support service. Your calls will be taken seriously.”
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