Assault By Beating, Vulnerable Adult, Where To Go Next?

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Leoquinal201 | 10:31 Thu 09th Aug 2018 | Law
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My father in law was arrested and charged with 'assault by beating' and released on bail until his court hearing on 23/08/2018. The police call was made as a reaction to a non-violent event in a domestic household; no physical harm was caused, and the person who called the police actually called them back to say they were no longer required (they came out to the property because someone living in the property is on some kind of priority list due to past abuse). At the police station my father in law refused a solicitor and was released on bail with the condition he couldn't go back to his house. He is now staying with us until his court date, otherwise he would have been left homeless.

He has suffered 2 strokes in the past 5 years and therefore struggles to recall/remember things, especially when under stress. He is not technically classed as a vulnerable adult, even though I believe he should be. He has a list of medical issues, including some apparent mental health issues (depression), and consumes a lunchbox worth of tablets/medication every day just to be able to function. I am taking him to my GP surgery tomorrow to get him seen by a Doctor as he said last night "I feel like I really should be in hospital", which is not something he would usually admit to.

The long and short of this is that I don't believe he is in a stable situation to be representing himself in a court of law, let alone should even be prosecuted in the first place. I was told on the telephone after the incident happened that he "leaned over [someone] to unplug something and accidentally knelt on their arm". This has somehow led to assault by beating.

Should the police be taking this case more sensitively and looking at a wider picture? Because the household have called the police on him so often, because they argue a lot, I feel the police probably look at this situation as "here we go again". The exact same thing happened last year in May, he stayed with us, he paid a fine, and then he went home. It's difficult for us to look into housing for him because he is vulnerable and I honestly don't think he could live alone safely.


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"Assault by beating" (common assault) is an imprisonable offence. There is no chance of him being given a custodial sentence in the circumstances you describe but the advantage in the offence carrying a custodial sentence is that it means your f-i-l can call on the services of the duty solicitor. This is only available for his first appearance but with any luck the duty brief will be able to pursuade the court to deal with the matter at that appearance.
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