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Man who left woman's head bleeding after throwing jar loses appeal

Man who left woman's head bleeding after throwing jar loses appeal

Tuesday 07 December 2021

Man who left woman's head bleeding after throwing jar loses appeal


A man who left a woman with a bleeding head wound after throwing a peanut butter jar at her, has failed in his appeal to have his grave and criminal assault conviction overturned.

Peter Edgar Deffains was found guilty following a Magistrate's Court trial on 4 June this year, and sentenced to a fine of £2,500 and paying prosecution costs of £800.

However, in September, he brought an appeal to the Royal Court. His case was that, given the evidence presented during the trial, there was not enough proof for him to be found guilty.

In a judgment published this week, the Court disagreed with this, saying the Assistant Magistrate on the case analysed the evidence "carefully," and that he had "no doubt" the accounts given on the night by the woman and Deffains were true.

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Pictured: Deffains was found guilty of grave and criminal assault following a trial in the Magistrate's Court earlier this year.

They did, however, mention two points which they believed were not "adequately" put before the Assistant Magistrate, but added that they "make no criticism of him as they both arise from consideration of hearsay evidence which was not subject to argument at trial."

The victim in the case decided that she did not wish to make an official complaint, but the case went ahead nonetheless.

The Assistant Magistrate had heard during the trial that Police received a call in the early hours of the morning of 7 March 2021, attending the man's home at 00:51.

Shortly after this time, an officer spoke to the woman, who the officer said had told them Deffains had "had thrown a glass jar at her head from behind in the kitchen."

They added that upon reviewing the woman's head, it was obvious the glass jar had caused a cut as well as bleeding - though the woman was intoxicated, she was able to communicate fully.

Police said the woman told them it had followed a verbal argument, and that as she was walking out of the kitchen, she felt a hard object hit the back of her head, and that the jar of peanut butter landed on the floor and smashed.

She said she did not understand why Deffains had thrown the jar and that she did not wish to make a formal complaint.

She stated that it was Deffains who had called the police to state what he had done, and that she wouldn't have called police herself.

Deffains was then arrested for a grave and criminal assault.

Having considered this evidence from a police officer, the appeal court said in its judgment that, "in our view the Magistrate's Court was entitled to admit this evidence of a conversation less than thirty minutes after the assault in the circumstances identified by the Crown."

It was also later noted that there was evidence Deffains had told the police three times that he had assaulted this woman - during a 999 call at 00:48, on body-worn camera footage at 01:05, and in a police interview at 10:08.

Subsequently, by way of an affidavit sworn before trial and trial on oath, he claimed that no such altercation had taken place.

Deputy Bailiff Robert MacRae oversaw the appeal, sitting with Jurats Jane Ronge and Robert Anthony Christensen MBE.

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