Brynaman victim 'let down by CPS'

First published in Ammanford news

A SWANSEA Crown Court judge has taken action to ensure that an Upper Brynamman woman “let down by the system” receives the protection she needs.

Judge Paul Thomas had been asked to sentence Alan Lee Harling, 38, for using violence to enter the home of his former partner Catrin Page, damaging her property and stealing her mobile telephone, which he admitted.

But Judge Thomas refused after being told that at the time Harling had been already facing accusations of taking her car without permission, hitting her on the head with a cider can and making threats of violence.

Kevin Jones, prosecuting, told the court that he could not understand what had happened to the earlier alleged offending as two had been put down as “undetected” and the third had been dismissed as not being a crime at all.

However, he had crime reference numbers for all three.

Judge Thomas described the situation as “ludicrous” and said he would not sentence Harling until he had a full picture.

He said Harling had been “under charged” and the system had let down a woman in great fear “and not without cause.”

Mr Jones said on November 23 Harling went to Miss Page’s home even though he was on police bail for the October matters and banned from entering the village.

“She was terrified and bolted the front and back doors,” added Mr Jones.

Miss Page locked herself in a bathroom but Harling still got into the house and into the bathroom. She was talking to the police on her mobile as he entered and became so afraid she could not even tell them where she lived.

Harling took the telephone from her and left.

Miss Page, aged 27, said in a victim impact statement that she did not feel safe in her own home and believed that Harling would not stop until he killed her.

Judge Thomas ended the sentencing hearing and told Mr Jones he wanted a written explanation within 28 days as to why the Crown Prosecution Service had not charged Harling with more serious offences such as robbery or burglary.

He said he also wanted to know what had happened to the alleged October offences.

“She is a woman in great fear, and not without cause. In order to protect that young lady I need to know the full picture.

“The victim has been let down,” he added.

Harling, of Port Tennant in Swansea, was further remanded in custody and the case will be mentioned again on February 17.

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