Woman's anger over restraining order confusion

Woman's anger over restraining order confusion

By David Parker | 10/09/2020

Woman's anger over restraining order confusion
Steven Booth

 

A DOMESTIC abuse victim said she felt scared to leave the house when her attacker walked free from court without a restraining order.

Amanda Clarson, who was assaulted by Steven Booth at a hotel in January, had been expecting some legal protection from her abuser, but was “mortified” to learn that he had been released and was free to contact her.

Booth was eventually given a restraining order — which banned him from contacting Miss Clarson for two years — four-and-a-half weeks after he was sentenced.

The Crown Prosecution Service told the Advertiser Miss Clarson had stated she had not wanted a restraining order at the start of the prosecution.

But Miss Clarson (43), of Rawmarsh, said that she had mentioned it to the officer in charge of the investigation on more than occasion and been told her that one would be applied for.

And a police spokesman said this week the case file indicated that Miss Clarson had wanted a restraining order.

Miss Clarson said she had been in an on-off relationship with Booth for a year when he assaulted her at the Consort Hotel in Thurcroft on January 27.

Booth was arrested, charged with attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent and held in custody.

The 45-year-old, of Gladstone Road, Maltby, denied the offence and was due to go on trial at Sheffield Crown Court on July 8.

Miss Clarson said she had been he would get a restraining order of up to five years, which would have banned him from contacting her.

However, when Booth appeared at court on June 23 and admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm, he was given a nine-month jail term, deemed served by the time he had spent on remand

Booth was released on licence, without a restraining order.

Miss Clarson said: “When I got the phone call to say there were no conditions in place I was mortified.

“I was in complete shock and scared to leave the house.”

Miss Clarson initially had to apply for her own non-molestation order at Sheffield Family Court, which was granted ten days after the sentencing hearing.

It was only after this had been granted that the case was sent back to the Crown Court for a review, and a restraining order was put in place.

Miss Clarson said all of her faith in the court system had gone.

“I feel cheated by the system,” she said.

“I was led to believe that a restraining order was going to be automatically applied for.”

A CPS spokesperson said the issue of the restraining order had been discussed with Miss Clarson at the outset of the investigation and the CPS had recommended one was put in place — but she had opposed this.

The spokesperson said it appeared that Miss Clarson had changed her mind but that information had not been conveyed to the CPS.

“We were made aware of this after the sentencing hearing and we immediately sought to have the case re-listed so that the restraining order could be put in place,” said the spokesperson.

A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said once it was made aware no order was in place it had taken steps to rectify this.

The spokesman said anyone who was concerned about domestic abuse should contact 101 or report it by visiting www.reportingcrime.uk/SYPDA




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