AN Inkpen man with a history of domestic violence has been told by magistrates to address his anger management issues before they cause him to commit a “very serious offence”.
Zak Wiltshire, of Craven Road, appeared at Reading Magistrates Court on Thursday, April 13, after pleading guilty to assaulting his former partner, Lauren Baker, in March this year.
The 26-year-old father-of-two admitted one charge of assault by beating and one of criminal damage, after discovering Miss Baker had sold jewellery he had bought her as a gift, so that she could buy cosmetics.
Prosecuting, Lesley Gilmore said: “On the evening of March 20 the defendant arrived home after collecting their three-year-old son.
“He came into the house and noticed cosmetics purchased by Miss Baker.
“He found the purchase had been made through the sale of items of jewellery, which upset him as they had been of sentimental value to him.
“Both parties were saying horrible things to each other.
“He was informed she was going to call the police.
“He grabbed the phone and threw it and in the process he grabbed her wrists.”
The court heard Mr Wiltshire, an apprentice at ATS Euromaster, was remorseful and had replaced Miss Baker’s damaged phone, while there were no physical injuries to the victim.
The incident, the latest in a string of violent offences dating back to 2007 – including further incidents of domestic violence – also found Mr Wiltshire in breach of a community order imposed by the same court in August last year.
A probation report told how Mr Wiltshire suffered from depression and anxiety and had “clear issues with temper control”.
Addressing magistrates, the probation officer said: “If we don’t nip this in the bud, he will appear in court for a very serious offence.
“Looking at this probation record, they don’t seem to have addressed the issues at hand.
“He’s going to need something that’s targeted.”
The officer added: “He’s keen, he’s motivated, he wants to address these issues. He knows it’s now cost his relationship.”
In mitigation, Mr Wiltshire’s solicitor told the court that this latest offence did not meet the custody threshold.
He said: “The assault and criminal damage occurred almost at the same time.
“He was committed to this relationship and he felt that she was committed.
“He buys her a gift, she sold it on for cosmetics.”
He added: “While there is an element of immaturity, there’s also an element of wanting to do the right thing and [he] talks constantly of wanting to be a positive role model for his children.”
Magistrates said: “He needs to understand what’s acceptable in a relationship and what is not.
“He also needs to get some therapy.”
Sentencing Mr Wiltshire, magistrates told him: “The first thing to say is you've got to do a lot of work to address these anger management issues and to look at dealing with domestic issues.
“We’ve got to draw a line under this or you could end up in prison.
“We treat domestic violence very seriously in this court.”
The court revoked the existing order, imposing a replacement community order for 24 months with the condition that Mr Wiltshire must complete the Building Better Relationships programme – a groupwork programme for men who have been violent in their relationships.
The court also ordered Mr Wiltshire to pay a £85 victim surcharge and £85 costs.