Violent meat cleaver-wielding partner fails to have sentence cut
5:33pm Thursday 3rd October 2013 in News
A man jailed for imprisoning his girlfriend at knifepoint and repeatedly assaulting a previous partner, has failed to win a cut in his sentence.
Rocque Fernandes, aged 24, of Bolton Road, Bury, had brandished a knife while refusing to let his then-girlfriend leave her home.
He had also subjected another woman to attacks during two “controlling and violent relationships”.
The ex-Navy man was handed a seven-year extended sentence at Bolton Crown Court in May after being convicted of a series of assaults and two counts of false imprisonment.
Fernandes was ordered to serve four years behind bars, with an additional three-year licence period in the community, after he told a psychiatrist “he heard voices” in his head.
Last Thursday, three senior judges at London's Court of Appeal rejected a sentence challenge by Fernandes, ruling that his “disturbing pattern of behaviour” meant he had rightly been categorised as danger to women.
Mr Justice Spencer said Fernandes was initially “charming, amusing and considerate” when he started seeing his first victim in early 2011, but soon revealed the other side of his personality, which was “controlling, jealous and violent”.
Fernandes, who has since been diagnosed with a personality disorder, rowed with the 21-year-old over text messages she had received from a male friend, grabbing her by the hair and holding a cleaver to her throat.
On another occasion he punched her, bit her nose and face and spat on her, before striking her on the leg with keys in his hand during another argument at a petrol station in August, 2011.
Fernandes later subjected a 17-year-old girl to two frightening episodes during an explosive three-month relationship.
The appeal judge said that, when a trivial row sparked between the couple in the teenager’s home, Fernandes responded by smashing items and cutting himself with a broken vase, before refusing to allow the girl to leave.
In a separate incident, Fernandes erupted into a jealous rage over the girl’s contact with a bouncer during a night out and again refused to let her leave the property.
She tried to escape through a window, but Fernandes dragged her back in, poured water over her head and seized a knife.
The author of a pre-sentence report ranked Fernandes as a “serious risk” of physical, psychological and emotional harm to any young women with whom he might form an intimate a relationship in the future.
Defending barrister, Mr Richard Vardon, said Fernandes was an educated man of previously “impeccable” character, who came from an “extraordinarily respectable family”; his father being a police officer and his mother a mental health worker.
On appeal, Mr Vardon argued that there was “not a scintilla of evidence” to indicate Fernandes was dangerous, as the injuries he inflicted were minor.