Reading lie detector used in abuse case

A Reading lie detector could have been used in an abuse case to prove the suspect guilty or innocent.

The case

A Reading man who attacked his partner with a knife in bed before setting himself on fire has been jailed for 13 years. Patrick Benjamin and the woman had fallen out over perceived infidelities on both sides in the days leading up to the attack.

The hearing

On the night of December 10, 2020 Benjamin’s partner would not let him sleep in their bed. He spent the night awake, a court heard. At 6.15am the next morning, Benjamin attacked his partner with a Stanley knife as she lay in bed.

He slashed her across the neck and across the chest. This resulted in two long slash wounds and other defensive wounds to her arms and hands. The attack was interrupted by the victim’s teenage son. The son went into the bedroom as he was alerted by his mother’s cries.

Benjamin then left the Reading flat and drove off. The son called 999 and the victim was treated at the scene before being taken to Royal Berkshire Hospital. She required surgery and was discharged from hospital the next day.

Horrific abuse

Benjamin was found later on December 11 in a car park at Manor Farm, Tadley. He had covered himself in petrol in his car and set himself and his car on fire. Firstly, the flames were put out and he was treated at the scene. Finally, he was taken by air ambulance to Southampton General Hospital.

Benjamin suffered life-changing injuries and was placed into an induced coma for 22 days. He was transferred to Salisbury District Hospital where he stayed until he was discharged, arrested and charged on January 29, 2021.

The judgement

Benjamin, 43, of Lulworth Road, Reading, was found guilty of one count of attempted murder at Reading Crown Court on September 23. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison at the same court on Wednesday (February 23).

Detective Sergeant Oliver Cahill-Smith, of the West Berkshire Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit, based at Reading police station, said: “This is a very sad case which has ripped a family apart. The victim and her children have been through a very traumatic experience. If you need help, the police can help you out of a dangerous situation and will always look to bring offenders to justice.”

How a polygraph test could help the case

Police are now using polygraph testing upon arrest of abusers and offenders. They are now asking suspects to take polygraph tests during the interrogation stages. Taking a lie detector test this early on in a case helps police rule out suspicions or to confirm suspects guilt. Police are also making regular polygraph testing part of release terms. This has meant communities that are concerned over the release of offenders into their community have peace of mind knowing that they are held accountable to regular polygraph tests. In conclusion, police believe that this has helped reduce repeat offending dramatically.

If you suspect someone is being abusive or abused then book your test online today. You can also call us on our free helpline on 07572 748364.