Posted April 11, 2020 07:06:38A British man was cleared of a charge of assault by a magistrate after being charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent following an altercation on Facebook.
The court heard a 22-year-old man, from Liverpool, had been drinking with his friends in February when he made an insulting comment on a video he had shared on the social network.
The defendant, who cannot be named, told police he had punched the man after the victim told him he had been involved in an altercation with police.
He was arrested at his home in Liverpool, the court heard.
The victim’s friends claimed he had a history of mental illness and was taking medication.
The magistrate found the defendant had a mental health issue and that the victim had been provoked by his “unpleasant” comments.
The defendant was given a 12-month suspended sentence.
Mr Justice George White, QC, said: “I am satisfied the defendant did not intend to cause grievous harm.”
The defendant’s conduct did not amount to an attack on any of the victim’s family members or friends.
“He said it was “clear that he was concerned about the reputation of the complainant and his own actions”.
The judge said the victim suffered “severe mental health difficulties” and the court could not “accept his defence of self-defence”.
The case was heard by Justice Helen Smith in the High Court in Liverpool.
She said: “The court is satisfied that the defendant acted with reasonable caution and it is not in my view that the offending was likely to cause or escalate the incident to such a degree that it would have been likely to provoke the defendant to resort to force.”
He has been given an appropriate custodial sentence.”
A spokeswoman for the Home Office said: ”It is important that any victim of domestic violence receive appropriate support and the police should be vigilant in their work.
“Police officers should always act with care and caution in their duties.”
There are very clear guidelines to keep offenders in check and the public should not take the law into their own hands.