Don't punish victims, says jailed mother

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The Independent Online

A mother of four who was stabbed by her abusive partner only to be sent to prison herself when she could not face the stress of testifying against him has called for a change in the law to help victims of domestic violence.

Sacha Williams-Rowe had already spent two days giving evidence against Lloyd Lothian, 35, in one trial, but that collapsed when the judge fell ill.

At the retrial, she asked police to rely on medical evidence and witness statements as she could not face the ordeal again – but she was found in contempt and jailed for one week. Mr Lothian later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of unlawful wounding and was sentenced to just 15 months in prison. "Why would any woman go to the authorities and ask for help when they have to go through that?" she said in the Sunday Mirror. "When the judge was ill he was given time to get better, but when I was unwell I was sent to jail, even though I was the victim."

A spokeswoman for the Crown Prosecution Service said: "This was a difficult domestic violence case, and taking into account all the circumstances, the prosecution team in consultation with the victim accepted the plea to unlawful wounding."