July 2022

Convicted sex offender from Spalding first in county to be charged with new ‘non-fatal strangulation’ offence

Officers have charged a man under new legislation which was introduced last month to protect victims of domestic abuse.

Benjamin Flatters, aged 31, of Dorchester Road, Spalding was charged with non-fatal strangulation following an alleged assault, reported on June 23.

Flatters appeared at Lincoln Magistrates Court on July 1 where he pleaded not guilty to the strangulation charge.

Flatters pleaded guilty to three other charges of criminal damage to property, threats to damage property and failure to comply with notification requirements of the sex offenders register.

He was remanded into custody and will face trial for the strangulation charge at a later date. 

The charge of non-fatal strangulation comes as a result of the creation of a new offence under the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 which was introduced nationally on June 7 2022.

Crucially, the new offence carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment.

Victims of strangulation may be left with little or no physical marks meaning previously, a charge of actual bodily harm or common assault may have been applied, which did not reflect the serious nature of the act.

DI Richard Nethercott said: “The new legislation is potentially life changing and lifesaving. If found guilty of non-fatal strangulation, a perpetrator will face up to five years in prison.

“Along with non-fatal suffocation, it’s a form of abuse that we sadly sometimes see in a domestic setting, where a perpetrator will use it to intimidate and control their victim. It’s terrifying to endure and incredibly dangerous.  

“We are committed to using our powers to tackle abuse, including non-fatal strangulation and non-fatal suffocation.

“The new legislation is an important step forwards in tackling violence against women and girls.”

December 2021

Fleet man jailed for a year after frightening woman and grandson with knife

A Fleet man who frightened a woman and her grandson when he armed himself with a kitchen knife was today jailed for 12 months.

Benjamin Flatters (31) was staying at the Anglia Motel when he became paranoid that people were looking for him and rang the police.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Flatters ignored the reassurances of the 999 operator and went looking around the building after arming himself with a kitchen knife which he took from another resident’s room.

Chris Jeyes, prosecuting, said Flatters put the knife in his waistband to the alarm of other people in the area – including a woman and her grandson.

Mr Jeyes told the court that although no violence was used at one point Flatters raised the knife above his head in a stabbing motion.

When police arrived Flatters appeared to be paranoid and acting in a confused state.

Flatters, formerly of Washway Road, Fleet, admitted two charges of affray and possessing a bladed article after the incident on 17 September this year.

Passing sentence Judge John Pini QC said it was clear Flatters was suffering from paranoia but other people in the area had been put in fear by his actions.

Flatters was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and also admitted breaching a suspended sentence for assaulting a police officer for which he will serve another six weeks.