Conditional fine for domestic violence

PHILIPSBURG--A 47-year-old man on Thursday received a conditional NAf. 500 fine, on two years’ probation, for his involvement in a case of domestic violence.
 
After hearing the case, the Judge in the Court of First Instance found it legally and convincingly proven that the suspect had punched and slapped his ex-wife in her face and had grabbed her by her throat during a fight in their home on August 7, 2015.
 
The employee of Bada Bing nightclub did not deny he had taken up his fists against his wife of two years. In his defence, he told the Court they had a history of violent arguments. At least three times they had altercations of this nature, in which the woman pulled a knife on him.
 
Last year’s incident was no other. After he had accused her of seeing somebody else she had packed a suitcase and had wanted to leave. He got angry and threw her on the bed, after which she took a knife from her purse. In the fight that followed the woman got bruised and she briefly lost consciousness, she told the police.
 
The suspect said he got his share too as he was punched on his mouth and confronted with a knife. When he wanted to take the weapon from her, his ex-wife bit him in his hand. “She went totally crazy and I locked her in the bedroom,” the defendant told the Judge.
 
“I never hit a woman in my life. I never touched her during the three previous fights. I was all scratched up and she boxed me in my mouth,” he said.
 
The couple have a two-year-old son. They are no longer living together and are legally divorced since earlier this month.
Dismissing self-defence pleadings, Prosecutor Nanouk Lemmers said mistreatment could be proven based on a medical report and on photos of injuries, among which were bruises.
 
The Prosecutor said the defendant could have filed a report against his ex-wife with the police. He had refrained from doing so, which he now called a “mistake.”
 
The Prosecutor did not call for a prison sentence or community service. To prevent the defendant from using his fists again, the Prosecutor considered a conditional fine of NAf. 500 a suitable punishment.
 
The defendant said the fine was “unfair,” as his ex-wife “doesn’t get anything.”
 
The Judge said it takes two to make a quarrel, but she held this incident for an “A-typical case” as the suspect’s partner had been very aggressive. “But hitting back is no way to solve a problem,” the Judge added.
 
The defendant was not sent to jail for his crime as a warning was deemed a more suitable punishment. “I hope to never see you again,” the Judge said at the end of the hearing. “Well, maybe in Bada Bing, for work purposes,” the magistrate added.
 
The Daily Herald

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