A judge has taken the extraordinary step of absolving the police and prosecutors of blame if anything untoward should happen to a woman in future.
It was after she refused to support a prosecution for wounding against her partner.
Derrick Irons, 36, walked free after the prosecution offered no evidence against him on a charge of wounding Tara Francis with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
The mother-of-three suffered knife wounds to her neck and hand at their home in Pilgrims Way, Detling, Maidstone, on August 10 last year.
Ian Foinette, prosecuting, said Miss Francis had retracted her statement and could not be found by police.
Irons, who had been held in custody, denied the charge, claiming Miss Francis had the knife and was attacking him.
Mr Foinette said there was a chilling recording of a 999 telephone call in which Irons could be heard screaming in the background.
“It is plain there was violence going on and injury occurred during it,” he told Maidstone Crown Court.
“What the Crown cannot deal with is the precise circumstances.
The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court
“In the end the jury would be in the position of having a hostile witness. This is not the first time she has been on the receiving end of violence by the defendant and has retracted.
“There is a limit to how much protection the Crown can provide if she won’t come to court.
"Unsatisfactory though it is, the Crown have little alternative other than to offer no evidence.”
Judge Jeremy Carey described it as “a depressingly familiar tale of extreme violence on a female partner”.
“Should there be a review in years to come at what happened at various stages in her life, then the record must show everything possible was done to protect her” - Judge Jeremy Carey
He said of the decision to discontinue the prosecution: “That is an entirely reasonable and responsible attitude in that the Crown has done all it reasonably can.
“I should say he leaves court with a not guilty verdict against his name. Nothing said should be taken to be some sort of inferred criticism of him at all.
“I equally want the record to show and it to be known for any future relevant purpose this is not a case where the police or CPS can be criticised in any way whatsoever.
“Should there be a review in years to come at what happened at various stages in her life, then the record must show everything possible was done to protect her.”
The resident judge stressed: “That is without prejudice to any kind of inference of guilt on the part of this defendant. I record a not guilty verdict and he is free to go.”
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