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Man who pushed woman by throat handed community service

Man who pushed woman by throat handed community service

Tuesday 17 May 2022

Man who pushed woman by throat handed community service

Tuesday 17 May 2022

A 28-year-old man who put his hand around a woman's throat and pushed her away last August has been sentenced to 100 hours of community service.

Josh Clark Lyons was sentenced by the Royal Court on Monday.

In March, Lyons had been found guilty of committing a common assault by a jury, which had also acquitted him of four counts of the more serious grave and criminal assault.

Setting out the facts of the case, Crown Advocate Simon Thomas said that Lyons and the woman had been arguing on 4 August.

He said: “The defendant [Lyons] said he was sat in his chair near his desk and that [the woman] was shouting in his face.

“He said that he pushed her away by her neck, having put his hand around her throat. He used one hand to do this. 

“As a result of him pushing her, she stumbled and twisted her ankle but was able to get up and the argument continued. 

“The defendant confirmed in evidence that he had not been acting in self-defence, and the defence did not ask for the issue of self-defence to be left to the jury at trial.”

Advocate Thomas said that the woman had left the flat and spent the night in a hotel before leaving the island the next day.

She ended the relationship on 13 August and telephoned Jersey police to make a complaint of assault against Lyons the next day.

Advocate Thomas also referred to a recording, which had been played at the trial, of a conversation between Lyons and the complainant in London a month before the August assault.

In it, Lyons made misogynistic comments. He had told the court that they were “stupid and foolish, made in the heat of the moment” but the prosecution argued that it was relevant to sentencing as it demonstrated past aggression towards the complainant. 

Defending, Advocate David Steenson said the allegations made by the complainant had been rejected by a jury and the only charge Lyons faced today was a conviction for common assault, which his client admitted and had been based on his own version of events.

He said that Lyons had pushed the woman away when she was “bent over in front of him, yelling in his face”.

The lawyer said that the complainant had told a series of lies and exaggerations, including telling the jury that she had never wanted to be with Lyons, “despite sending text messages expressing her undying love for him and constantly talking about them getting married and having a family.”

Advocate Steenson said that his client accepted that when she fell backwards from bending down, she may have fallen and twisted her ankle but it was never his intention to cause her harm.

He added that had it not been for the more serious allegations rejected by the jury, the common assault charge would have never reached the Royal Court, and may have been dealt with by words of warning at a parish hall inquiry. 

He said his client had suffered financially and emotionally since the woman’s accusations - which he said were only made after she had received a text from an ex-partner of Lyons, alleging he had cheated on her - and the lawyer said it would be appropriate for the Court to give his client an absolute discharge. 

Passing sentence, Commissioner Julian Clyde-Smith, who was sitting with Jurats Jerry Ramsden and Steven Austin-Vautier, said that it concerned the Court that “nearly all the emphasis of mitigation has been on blaming the victim.”

He added that Lyons had been found guilty of assault and the Court took any act of violence seriously.

However, he said that the sentence did not warrant the 150 hours of community service proposed by the Crown.

The judge said that the Court had taken account of Lyons' defence, his previous good character and the support of friends and family, but noted that there had been no letter of remorse submitted, nor any acceptance by the defendant of concerns about relationships with women.

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