Man broke down as he was sent to prison

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court

A man who breached a court order banning him from contacting his ex sobbed in the dock as magistrates handed him a prison sentence.

Martin Smith, of Samuel Street, Atherton, was given a two-month prison term for breaching a domestic protection notice (DVPO) and failing to comply with post sentence supervision, after he appeared at Wigan Magistrates’ Court.

The 29-year-old wept and shouted out to JPs, says “I need help ... I need help’ as magistrates delivered the verdict.

The court had earlier heard that Smith had served several custodial sentences over domestic violence-related issues and on his release had been told not to contact his partner.

He was sentenced to 14 days in prison in March for breaching a DVPO and shortly after his release was arrested for criminal damage. Although the charges were dropped he was issued with another DVPO.

However, on April 9, he had contacted his partner asking for somewhere to stay for the night and she agreed.

The prosecution for Greater Manchester Police told the court that despite the fact his partner was in full support of him and had said recent events had been overly dramatised, they felt his persistent breaches were so severe, that only a custodial sentence would be suitable.

A spokesman for probation said: “This continual behaviour showed a disregard of the court order requirements.

“His antisocial behaviour impacts on his safe management in the community. He was unable to motivate himself to comply. Interventions are available but could not be implemented due to continued absence.”

Probation added they were aware he had substance misuse problems but as yet he had not entered into any rehabilitation programmes.

Martin Jones, defending, said; “The defendant has been to jail a number of times and it had not done any good. His partner, over-egged the pudding when speaking to the police. He accepted his breach. He had nowhere to go and she agreed to let him stay overnight and that’s the breach. She says she took pity on him. He contacted the police himself and was arrested.

“He has problems with his mental health and has had trouble getting his prescribed medication for ADHD.”

The conviction is the latest in Wigan where statistics released in 2014 showed the borough had the region’s highest number of arrests for domestic violence attacks.

Statistics reveal Wigan police had the highest rate within Greater Manchester Police of suspects being arrested or detained at 11.8 per cent of complaints made.

But Wigan Council insist that its domestic abuse partnership, known as Integrated Safeguarding and Public Protection (ISAPP), is helping to stamp out the crime once and for all, with early indications showing a reduction of around 835 repeat victims over the last year. As a result, it has increased funding from £75,000 to £125,000.