A 31-year-old man, who drunkenly assaulted someone he knew and later threatened him the day before his trial to get him to drop the complaint, has been handed community service for a string of offences dating back to 2017.
Miguel Angelo Santos Goncalves appeared before the Royal Court by video link on Friday after three months on remand in custody to be sentenced for the five offences.
Charged with two counts of common assault, one of disorderly conduct and two counts of perverting the course of justice, Goncalves received a community service and probation order so that he can work on his “anger issues”.
Prosecuting, Crown Advocate Chris Baglin explained that the first count of common assault took place in the early hours of 28 May 2017 when Goncalves aggressively approached a man he’d previously sold a motor vehicle to.
Pictured: The case was heard in the Royal Court.
A witness described Goncalves as being “angry and annoyed” and being in the other man’s “personal space”. Another witness said that the defendant seemed “angry and wanting to fight”.
After the man told Goncalves to leave him alone and brushed the defendant’s hand away from his face, the defendant then “punched [the man] in the mouth once with his right hand, causing his lip to bleed.”
The two counts of perverting the course of justice related to Goncalves’s attempts to get this man to drop the complaint against him on two separate occasions before a trial into the matter was due to start in the Magistrate’s Court.
Both times, Goncalves approached the man and left him “feeling threatened” and thinking that the defendant might hurt him again unless he dropped the charges.
The other two charges relate to separate incidents, involving a woman he knew with whom he was having a heated argument with.
Goncalves was trying to get the woman to speak to him and called her multiple times before going out in his car to find her. When he managed this, the pair stopped their cars and Goncalves “was agitated” and “tried to persuade [the woman] to get in his car.”
But, “when she refused, he went back to his car, got into it and shouted aggressively at her.”
He continued to be aggressive, throwing his phone inside his car, punching his steering wheel and then “jumped on his car bonnet causing a dent.”
Linked to this confrontation, Goncalves then went to confront another gentleman at his place of work.
Pictured: The Court was told that in one confrontation, Goncalves punched his steering wheel and then jumped on his own car bonnet.
The prosecutor explained that “in anger, the defendant grabbed [the man’s] face, and then pushed him away", leading him to be charged with a second count of common assault.
Representing Goncalves, Advocate Julia-Anne Dix emphasised that a background report on Goncalves penned by a probation officer stated that “a prison sentence would result in more problems for” him.
The defence lawyer argued that her client “clearly needs to undertake some work” over his “anger issues” and that “he won’t get that help” if he receives a custodial sentence.
Describing his remand in custody during the covid crisis as “a massive shock”, Advocate Dix said that the 31-year-old has “already been punished” and “now is the opportunity for Mr Goncalves to be rehabilitated.”
The case was heard by Jurats Christensen and Ramsden and the Deputy Bailiff Robert MacRae was presiding.
The Deputy Bailiff described Goncalves’s behaviour as “wholly unacceptable” and went onto say that perverting the course of justice “strikes at the heart of the justice system”.
However, given the findings of the Probation Officer, the Court decided to impose a non-custodial sentence.
Goncalves was sentenced to 200 hours’ community service and a one-year probation order.
A restraining order to prevent Goncalves from contacting the victim of the 2017 assault was also put in place and the defendant was ordered to pay £200 in compensation to him.
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