A JUDGE has delayed the sentencing of a Powys man who assaulted and harassed his ex-girlfriend – so he can avoid sending him straight to prison.

Recorder Greg Bull told Lee David Smith this week that a custodial sentence was inevitable, but adjourned the case to see if suitable accommodation can be found for the 27-year-old with a relative.

Mr Recorder Bull said a pre-sentence report determined that being sent to prison would not address issues that the military veteran has, but that a community-based punishment would only be given if he has stable accommodation. He hinted at handing Smith a suspended prison sentence if the accommodation issue can be clarified.

Smith, of Maelog Court, Llandrindod Wells, but currently on remand at HMP Swansea, pleaded guilty in November to three counts of assault in relation to his former partner. He also admitted one count of harassment and two of criminal damage.

Two of the assaults occurred in Llandrindod on June 25 last year, as did one criminal damage charge; Smith damaged a mobile phone valued at £163.50 belonging to the victim.

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On November 2 last year, Smith sent threatening messages to the victim and also pushed her while holding a knife. On the same day he also damaged a door at her property.

Representing Smith at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court on Tuesday, January 3, where he was due to be sentenced, Thomas Roberts said: “There is the potential for a stable address.

“Mr Smith has told me he has his aunt’s address and she is willing to have him, even though it will not be for the long-term.

“He has also been in contact with SAFFA (the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) which assists veterans.”


Mr Recorder Bull said: “I have been giving a lot of anxious thought to this case.

“It seems this man needs help on one hand but this can only be given to him if it lasts over a period of two years. Looking at the matters I have to sentence him for, I cannot envisage sentencing him to anything other than a four-year [prison] term.

“Judging by the pre-sentence report, one of the main concerns is it is very difficult to put him on any community-based sentence unless he has a stable address. I would be assisted by confirmation of a firm address.”

Addressing Smith, he told him: “I’m prepared to put the case back. I accept you have a number of problems that need addressing.

“Probation believe you can be helped, but you cannot be helped in prison.”

Mr Recorder Bull made an interim restraining order to protect Ms Willey and adjourned sentencing until January 13.