A new report has suggested defendants are “gaming the system” in domestic abuse courts through intimidating partners into not appearing at court. Defendants are doing this with the assumption that the magistrates will drop the charges against them due to non-attendance.
The report, commissioned in Northumbria, was evidenced through close monitoring of over 220 cases in the north-east of England. Findings suggested cases in which the complainant doesn’t appear in court are dismissed too readily. Additionally, the report found there were too few Independent Domestic Violence Advisers (IDVAs) available to attend court and non-relevant mitigation pleas were often used by defendants including being under the influence of alcohol. These factors all combined resulting in fewer complainants attending court and more defendants having the charges dropped.
To read more or to access the full report click here.
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