Simon Spence QC has been featured in The Times and the Law Gazette discussing the recent government proposals that will see an extension of the time limit for offences of common assault committed in a domestic context.
The government has recently announced an amendment to the time limit for common assault committed within a domestic context. Under the proposals, to be contained in an amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill proceedings must be brought within six months of the complaint being made — rather than the offence being committed — subject to an overall time limit of two years.
Simon argues in the Times:
"...my experience at the Bar and as a trustee of a domestic abuse charity [The Daisy Chain Project] has shown that few victims of domestic abuse are subject to the minor level of violence that would lead to a charge of common assault. Many suffer injuries serious enough to warrant a charge of actual bodily harm, some grievous bodily harm, and in one particularly tragic case that I prosecuted, a woman was murdered. This is the dreadful reality of domestic abuse and such offences carry no time limit for a prosecution to be brought."
"....questions hang over whether the change will make much of a difference, or whether it is the government simply grabbing an eye-catching headline instead of investing in the agencies required to give substantive help to victims of domestic abuse. What the government should be doing is investing much more heavily in proper support structures for the victims of domestic abuse."