ANYONE is free to end an intimate union without its resulting in violence. This was the warning of High Court judge Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds, who last month jailed a man for three months for stabbing his ex-girlfriend in the head and shoulders after she ended the relationship.
Richard Clarke, also called Smokey, was before Ramsumair-Hinds on two counts of wounding with intent. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three months on each count. The sentences were ordered to run concurrently, so Clarke will only spend three months in jail. Before going to his ex-girlfriend’s home on October 24, 2005, when he stabbed her, he had to be warned by police after going to her house days before. On the day of the incident, after being told that “they were done,” while she was taking a bath, he attacked her, telling her, “You have to dead,” stabbing her in the head and shoulders. He fled and the next morning was found locked in his home, lying naked on the bed, holding a bottle of poison, with blood on his body and froth coming from his mouth.
Six days later he was arrested. In her sentencing Ramsumair-Hinds said the incident could easily have turned out to be a murder-suicide or double murder-suicide, sinceClarke also attacked his ex-girlfriend’s son-in-law, who went to her assistance.
“May I add that if you or if there is anyone who still believes that infidelity or ending an intimate relation can justify or mitigate violence, you are severely mistaken. Anyone is free to end an intimate union, whether it is in the context of marriage or merely a visiting relationship, as in this case. Perhaps in an effort to resocialise against skewed gender stereotypes we should reconsider the utility of the words ‘till death do us part’.” In her ruling, she urged those who had a role to play in the management of cases of gender-based/intimate-partner violence – including police, prosecutors, defence lawyers, judges and magistrates – to read the UK Sentencing Guidelines Council’s Definitive Guideline on Assault and Other Offences Against the Person. The state was represented by prosecutors Hema Soondarsingh and Anastacia McMeo while Clarke was represented by Frank Peterson.