Rare court order secured in drive to tackle domestic abuse

Mick Ferris

Specialist detectives who work to tackle domestic abuse have secured a rare court order as they continue to target serial domestic offenders.

An interim Violent Offender Order (VOO) was handed down by a District Judge at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on Friday November 24.

VOOs are civil orders designed to help protect individuals and the wider public from offenders who continue violent behaviour after leaving prison for a relevant offence, and those still posing a risk of serious violent harm. If breached, this could result in a term of imprisonment up to five years.

The orders are used specifically for those who have been released from prison, and are no longer on licence, or under a hospital or supervision order.

In this case, the offender had previously been convicted of causing horrific GBH injuries in an incident of domestic abuse, and having served part of his prison term he then breached his licence conditions and was returned to prison. He is managed by multi agency public protection agreement (MAPPA) at the highest level and is considered to pose a very high risk of harm to the public.

The interim order will remain in place until the defendant’s next court hearing where a full VOO will be sought.

Due to the high threshold that must be met for a VOO to be granted and the number of measures in place before one can be applied for, only a small number of VOOs have been made by courts in England and Wales since their introduction in 2009. This is the second order of its kind in Essex in 14 years.

Detective Chief Inspector Nathan Hutchinson said: “This offender has already proved they may offend again when released from prison.

“This kind of repeated violent crime, and targeting of the same victim, can have an immeasurable impact on someone’s life. We take the threat this offender poses very seriously, and will not hesitate to make sure they return to prison if they violate this order.”

White Ribbon Day, today, Saturday November 25, is a global campaign that encourages people, especially men and boys, to take action and change the behaviour and culture that leads to abuse and violence, both individually and collectively.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: mickferris@yellowad.co.uk