Local Man Sentenced for Assault

In the Magistrates’ Court yesterday, a local man was sentenced to twelve months imprisonment for an assault on a woman and other related offences.

Riyen Lea, 35, of Varyl Begg Estate pleaded guilty to Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm, Theft, Improper Use of Public Electronic Telecommunications, Putting People in Fear of Violence and Possession of a Controlled Class B Drug.

The court heard that, at around 10:00 on 24 October the police received calls from concerned members of the public requesting urgent assistance in the area of the Laguna Bar. When officers arrived, witnesses identified Lea as having assaulted the woman by biting her on the upper arm which caused bruising and swelling. He also kicked her in the leg which also caused similar bruising and swelling. Lea then stole her mobile phone and a set of keys before leaving the scene.

Lea was arrested that same day and still had the woman’s phone on him. In the meantime, he had used it to contact the woman’s mother and made threats of violence towards her and to the woman’s daughter.

Having been arrested and searched at New Mole House, officers found that he was in possession of a small amount of a Class B drug.

The case was taken over by the RGP’s Domestic Abuse team who then charged Lea with the various offences which, as a result of the evidence presented, led to him pleading guilty to the proposed charges.

A spokesman for the RGP said that officers in the Domestic Abuse Team are now looking at further safeguarding measures to protect the victim. They would like to express their gratitude to the members of the public who reported the assault and wished to reiterate that in Gibraltar there is no excuse for domestic abuse, regardless of gender.

The spokesman also wishes to encourage the public to contact the police if, at any time, they witness any similar occurrences.

The Senior Investigating Officer in this case, DCI Roy Perez, wished to remind the public that 95% of all UK homicides are domestic related, thus there is an ongoing need for our community to assist the RGP in reducing the incidence of all domestic abuse.

In addition to this conviction, Lea will serve a further 6 weeks in prison due to an earlier suspended sentence for carrying an Offensive Weapon in a Public Place.