Wigan domestic abuse victim blasts justice system in lenient sentencing row

Jane Finney, from Aspull, hit out after Paul Vallance walked out of court with a fine and a small amount of compensation to pay.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 5:13 pm
Updated Friday, 12th March 2021, 5:14 pm

Vallance, who is from Winstanley, pleaded guilty to assault by beating at Manchester City Magistrates’ Court last month and was fined £675. A restraining order was also made.

However, Ms Finney has now slammed the proceedings, saying she does not feel the sentence reflects the seriousness of what happened to her.

She also accused Greater Manchester Police (GMP) of failing to investigate all the complaints she made and said receiving £80 in compensation following the court case felt like an additional insult.

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Jane Finney
Jane Finney

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has stressed it takes domestic abuse cases seriously and said sentencing was entirely a matter for magistrates.

Ms Finney, 28, said: “I think it’s just disgusting. I feel like the justice system has massively let me down.

“I just don’t understand how they’ve let him walk away with a £600 fine. It’s absolutely nothing, basically.

“I gave the police video footage and a statement about incidents and they took no further action. I’m not even happy with the terms of the restraining order and have had to contact the court about that.

“After what he’s done I just don’t know how the court can do what they did. I’m fuming about it.”

Ms Finney said she had to go to hospital and have an X-ray after the assault incident and sent pictures of her injuries which included a badly blackened and swollen eye.

The CPS said Vallance pleaded guilty on the day of the trial and was given the fine and compensation as well as being ordered to pay £150 in costs. He was also made the subject of a 12-month restraining order.

The CPS also said it does not comment on sentences.

A spokesperson said: “The CPS takes all allegations of domestic violence very seriously. As with all domestic violence cases, the detailed domestic abuse guidance for prosecutors and the legal guidance for on assault offences was carefully considered when reviewing the evidence provided by the police and making a charging decision.”

GMP was contacted about Ms Finney’s allegations against the force but did not respond.

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