Abusive partner sentenced to immediate prison term after referral by Solicitor General

A Portsmouth man who physically and mentally abused his partner has been sentenced to an immediate prison term after the Solicitor General Alex Chalk QC MP referred his sentence to the Court of Appeal.

Liam Kingswell, 25, was in an abusive relationship with his partner from July 2020 to June 2021. Throughout the relationship the defendant behaved in a controlling and abusive manner towards the victim, including breaking her possessions and demanding money to purchase drugs, which caused the victim to get into debt.

On occasions Kingswell would use violence against the victim, which included beatings, throwing objects at her and strangling her. The relationship only ended when Kingswell was arrested in June 2021.

On 18 March 2022 Kingswell was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment suspended for 24 months for criminal damage and controlling and coercive behaviour at Portsmouth Crown Court.

Following the sentencing, the Solicitor General referred the original sentence to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme because he believed it was too low.

On 27 May the Court of Appeal found Kingswell’s sentence to be unduly lenient and sentenced him to an immediate prison term of 2 years and 9 months.

Speaking after the hearing, the Solicitor General Alex Chalk QC MP said:

Liam Kingswell’s abuse of his partner was shocking. I welcome the decision of the Court of Appeal to sentence him to an immediate prison term. I hope this verdict sends a clear message that those who abuse their partners will feel the full force of the law.

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