Probation staff shortages under fire as Portsmouth man due for domestic abuse course breaks partner's shoulder

A MAN assaulted his partner then went on to break her shoulder months later after a ‘regrettable’ delay in a probation programme designed to prevent domestic abuse.

Drunken Jeffrey Chinsang pushed over his girlfriend after flying into a rage about her having lunch plans with a friend the next day.

When she tried to leave the 54-year-old ‘suddenly pushed her away from behind with a lot of force,’ prosecutor Nicholas Hall said. She fell to the floor landing on her face - and fracturing her shoulder.

But it emerged at Portsmouth Crown Court that prior to the April 29 assault the defendant was told to undergo domestic abuse treatment - but the course was not due to start until the end of this month.

Portsmouth Crown Court. Picture: César Moreno Huerta

Shortages of highly-trained probation staff have been blamed for the delays.

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‘Absurdly jealous’ Chinsang was handed a community order with a domestic abuse course on March 8 for two offences of battery on February 14 - Valentine’s Day.

Sentencing, judge Roger Hetherington said: ‘The building better relationships programme had not been started, so the fact you having been given the sentence in March - and I’m told it still has not started, and the date is not until the 25th of this month - that is a regrettable reflection of the difficulties that the service is under for whatever reason - and I don’t go into that.’

Howard Barrington-Clark, for Chinsang who admitted causing grievous bodily harm, said community order programmes are ‘months and months delayed’.

‘It’s brought about specifically because the probation service has been divided into two,’ he said.

Probation was divided into two with a nationalised service for dangerous criminals, and private companies taking over community services. The government plans to axe community rehabilitation companies next year.

Mr Barrington-Clark added: ‘He’s not had the help or support that the court deemed necessary.’

Judge Hetherington imposed a 12-month jail term for two years with 20 rehabilitation days, and ordered a concurrent treatment programme.

A restraining order bans Chinsang, of Sackville Street, Southsea, from contacting his former partner for five years.

A spokesman for the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Rehabilitation Company said: ‘Normal waiting times to start BBR are about eight months, but we prioritise high-risk men for an earlier start.

‘We’ve striven to reduce waiting times by implementing a recruitment and training drive and by commissioning an organisation called RISE to deliver BBR on behalf of the CRC.’