Non-custodial plan a ‘licence to batter’

Draft guidelines that suggest domestic violence perpetrators could escape a custodial sentence if they show signs of remorse and wish to change their behaviour have been slammed by a charity boss.

Sandra Horley, chief executive of domestic violence charity Refuge, said it would be a “travesty” if the Sentencing Guidelines Council proposals came into effect.

She said they would give men “a licence to batter women as long as they are able to put on a remorseful act in front of a judge”.

Women’s Aid said it was crucial that every safety consideration was taken if a rehabilitation course was recommended instead of custody.

The draft guidelines say “offences in a domestic context should be regarded as being no less serious than offences committed in a non-domestic context”.

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