The European Court of Human Rights found that the Northern Ireland authorities had not failed in their duty to respond to domestic violence perpetrated against the applicant, Ms Irene Wilson, and her complaint was deemed inadmissible.
On 20 October 2007 the applicant was assaulted by her husband, Scott Wilson. She suffered a severed artery on the right side of her head and multiple bruising.
Mr Wilson was arrested and charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent to do grievous bodily harm, contrary to section 18 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861. After considering the available evidence, the Public Prosecution Service of Northern Ireland (PPS) decided that there was insufficient evidence of intention to do grievous bodily harm and the charge was reduced to one of grievous bodily harm contrary to section 20 of the same Act.
Mr Wilson pleaded guilty to the section 20 charge and was sentenced to eighteen months’ imprisonment, which was suspended for three years.
The applicant alleged violations of her human rights under the European Convention on Human Rights and made several complaints regarding the criminal proceedings, including that the sentence was unduly lenient and was much lower than would have been delivered had the offence occurred outside marriage.