Wed, 31 Oct 2018
IT was a case of ‘be careful what you wish for’ when a barrister pleaded with a judge to allow his client a pre-sentence probation report.
Following the lengthy and impassioned speech, Judge Emma Nott eventually relented – but said 28-year-old Edward Lewis Rawlings must be locked up meanwhile anyway, telling him: “You can’t be trusted to attend voluntarily.”
Rawlings looked bewildered as he was led to the cells.
He had been due to be sentenced for his latest domestic violence offence, having been convicted of assaulting Lee Ann Brown at an earlier hearing.
Ms Brown attended Reading Crown Court on Friday, October 12, hoping to read a victim impact statement to the judge.
Gabrielle McAvock, prosecuting, reminded Judge Nott that she had ordered a pre-sentence report to be prepared on Rawlings at the last hearing.
But she said he had not attended the appointment and a senior probation officer told the court that Rawlings was not serious about co-operating.
Judge Nott said she would proceed to sentence, but then Gavin Holme, defending, made his plea for another chance.
The judge responded: “This defendant has been given two opportunities to attend... it seems to me he isn’t taking the matter particularly seriously.
“I’m not prepared to adjourn the case.”
Mr Holme again urged her to change her mind.
When Judge Nott pointed out “he has a history of this type of offending”, Mr Holme assured her his client was not in a relationship at present and thus posed no risk.
Judge Nott told Rawlings: “It was your responsibility to see the probation officer and you didn’t.
“I am going to give you an opportunity to have a probation report.
“But you can’t be trusted to attend voluntarily.”
She remanded Rawlings in custody until November 2 and ordered the report to be completed on an ‘all options’ basis, including custody.
Judge Nott asked for a restraining order to be drafted and said: “I was made aware that the victim in this case has attended today and had expected to read her victim personal statement.
“I apologise to her for not giving her resolution to these matters today.”
Rawlings has previous convictions for domestic violence and breaching a non molestation order and in July a court heard how he tried to bite off his fiancée’s £2,000 engagement ring in front of her screaming children.
On that occasion, Reading magistrates heard, Rawlings had turned up at the home of Kelly Morse – his “on-off girlfriend” – minutes after police left.
Ironically, the court heard, they had been conducting a welfare check on her and her children after Mr Rawlings made threats.
Chris White, prosecuting, said on that occasion: “He grabbed her hand and tried to pull a ring off her finger.
“He bent back her false nails, causing three to snap off.
“He then leaned over and bit her finger in an attempt to get the ring off.”
Two men ran in and pulled Rawlings off Ms Morse, the court heard, prompting him to run away, shouting as he went: “I’m going to ruin your life.”
On that occasion, magistrates jailed Rawlings for 12 weeks and imposed a two-year restraining order preventing him from contacting Ms Morse and from going to a specified address in Park Avenue, Thatcham.