Increase in number of domestic violence applications according to Courts Service report

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There was a 10% increase in the number of domestic violence applications with 20,500 cases in court last year.

The annual report of the Courts Service also showed a jump of 30% in the number of interim barring order applications, banning the perpetrator from the family home, or prohibits them from contacting the victim.

The report, presented by Chief Justice Frank Clarke showed there was 154 convictions for rape, 36% of whom were jailed for five to 10 years and 63% were handed prison sentences of more than 10 years.

The number of serious offences Circuit, Central and Special criminal courts was 18,500 last year.

Speaking at the event in the Four Courts, Justice Clarke said that while the report related to 2019, “it seems now like a different era”.

The report for 2020 will undoubtedly be very different, but this 2019 report perhaps provides a benchmark of where our courts stood prior to the pandemic striking.

He said a number of proposed legal changes will help the courts respond to working within Covid-19 restrictions.

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The court figures show that although there was a slight decrease in personal injuries claims, there was a 75% increase in the value of medical negligence awards.

A spokesman for the Court Service said this reflects the number of major catastrophic injury cases being dealt with in the year, where provision is made for a lifetime of needed care in large awards.

There was also a 37% decrease in possession orders made and a 28% drop in new possession cases lodged. The spokesman said this reflected a recovering economy and less personal debt.

There was a 30% decrease in new asylum cases lodged, 368 down from 530 the previous year.

In total, the District Court dealt with 226,000 road traffic offences; 33,000 drugs matters; 3,600 sexual offences; 37,500 larceny/robbery/ fraud matters; and 46,000 public order and assaults.

The District court received more than 406,000 new offences last year involving 241,000 people.

A total of 4,073 new divorce applications were received, with 1,806 applications lodged by men and 2,267 by women.

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