Friday, October 31, 2014

Drunk British cop who kicked his girlfriend in the stomach in a rage after HE left £30 in a cash point avoids jail

A former firearms police officer who kicked his girlfriend in the stomach after he flew into a drunken rage because he had accidentally left £30 in a cash point has been spared prison.

James Vosper, who has 16 years' experience as a police officer, had drunk a bottle and a half of wine before his girlfriend Melissa Mustoe, a mother of two, arrived home.

His attack was recorded after Miss Mustoe, 37, called police when she managed to lock Vosper out of their home in Abbeywood. After he kicked her in the stomach Miss Mustoe remained on the phone for 40 minutes and seemed breathless and scared.

The court heard Vosper has recently resigned from his role at Gloucestershire Constabulary before he was 'pushed'.

Vosper, a father of two, had previously been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder following an incident at work and as a result had started drinking heavily. He had been drinking on the night of the attack on December 11. He had texted Miss Mustoe to say that 'everything has gone to rat s***' after he realised he had made a mistake at the cash point.

When police arrived he tried to claim he had been the victim of assault and acted in self defence.

But magistrates dismissed his argument and found him guilty of assault after a two-day trial.

However they decided his guilty conviction did not include an accusation he throttled his partner during the incident, which he had been accused of during the trial.

Speaking during the trial, prosecutor Ian Jackson, said: '[He] kicked her in the stomach while she was on the phone to police. 'During the course of the 999 call you can hear part of the alleged attack taking place. You can hear her reaction. 'Very shortly in, about four or five minutes you can hear her explain she has just been kicked in the stomach by Mr Vosper.

'Throughout the call she sounds breathless, exasperated and scared. To have waited on the phone for 40 to 45 minutes she must have genuinely been fearful.'

The officer was given an 18 month community order. The couple had been together for five years after both their marriages failed.

Alexander West, defending Vosper, said: 'He has been forced to resign from his role as a police officer. He has lost his job of 16 years as a result of his actions.

'It's a somewhat forced resignation in that it was a jump before being pushed. 'A serving police officer can not be seen having a conviction for domestic violence assault on his record. He simply resigned before being forced.'

Bristol Magistrates' Court heard that Vosper is currently working his four-week notice period and will retain his pension - but it will be frozen until he is 60.

Mr West, defending, added his client had no previous convictions and the assault was 'largely contributed' to by alcohol - a problem Vosper was now addressing. 'He has submitted to regular testing', he said.

'They have found towards the end of the programme his alcohol use had dramatically reduced to the point that he was no longer considered a habitual user.'

Patricia Jell sentenced him to an 18-month community order, with 18-months supervision, and a requirement to complete the 'Building Better Relationships' course. He was also ordered to pay £930 costs, an £85 fine and a £60 victim surcharge.

Original report here

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