Victim left waiting for justice as Northampton Crown Court judge gives abuser chance to prove himself

A Kettering woman who was violently assaulted by her boyfriend says she’s “baffled” after he was given a chance to prove himself.

By Sam Wildman
Thursday, 5th May 2022, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 6th May 2022, 8:06 am

Cali Dunkley bravely spoke out about the domestic abuse she suffered at the hands of Ashley Gleeson when the thug admitted his crimes earlier this year.

Gleeson, 34, was warned it was likely he would be sent to prison and was given conditional bail when his sentencing hearing was adjourned in March.

But on Tuesday (May 3) he was given four months to prove himself after a judge deferred his sentence to September 9, with an expectation that there will be positive psychiatric engagement and no evidence of drug use in the interim.

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Cali Dunkley.

Mum-of-four Cali, 32, said: "Where’s my justice if he’s still out? I don’t get it. It’s baffling.”

A previous hearing at Northampton Crown Court heard the pair met in April 2019 after messaging each other on Facebook and by July they moved in together.

They were happy before the relationship began to turn sour and Cali said they had their first argument when she found out Gleeson, an alcoholic, had been drinking.

She went to his flat on April 12, 2020, to explain why she couldn’t be with him and videoed him so he could see how he treated her once he had sobered up.

Ashley Gleeson and some of the bruises on Cali's body.

But Gleeson, of Melton Street, turned violent. He grabbed her by the ankles, pulled her off the sofa, called her a vile insult and kicked her in the groin and ribs, leaving visible bruises.

Cali managed to get away but she didn’t initially report the assault. A court heard she was concerned about social services becoming involved and she said she feared it would have an impact on the man she had once loved.

Weeks later Gleeson told her he had been getting help. They got back together but he started drinking again and on June 20 Cali was on the receiving end of more violence.

Gleeson pushed her, causing her to fall and hit her head on some pipes. He then slapped her cheek and she went to A&E, where Cali told police about the violence.

When Gleeson was first interviewed he said he had never hit her – and claimed some of the marks on her body were from a dog jumping up. He later pleaded guilty to assault by beating and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

When he appeared in the dock in March the court heard he had mental health issues and was suffering from a mental breakdown at the time.

The case was put back for a report from his doctor and on Tuesday, after hearing mitigation, a judge deferred sentencing until September.

Cali, who urged other victims who are scared of leaving abusive relationships to get out, said she now faces another anxious wait for justice and closure.

She is worried about bumping into him this summer – and that it will be her children who suffer as she is less likely to take them out.

She said: “I’m disappointed that he’s been given the opportunity to stay on the streets. It gives him the opportunity to enter another relationship.

“It would be safer if he was to be rehabilitated in prison.”