Public Security Ministry official
Public Security Ministry official convicted of assault. Photo by Moti Kimche
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 A Tel Aviv court found a former Public Security Ministry official guilty of the assault and battery of a female coworker on Thursday, sentencing him to six months suspended sentence as well as 400 hours of community service.

The official, 47, a member of the ministry's crime and violence prevention subdivision and a former Israel Defense Forces Lt. Col., admitted to striking fellow employee during a 2007 fight between the two.

According to the indictment, the argument erupted after the co-worker commented on the fact that the defendant moved a communal refrigerator into his private chambers, to which the defendant responded that she should "shut up" or else he would "mess her up." He then proceeded to physically threaten her, proceeding to follow her back to her office.

The female co-worker then shoved the defendant out of her room, locking the door, an act which caused the defendant to forcibly pound at her door until he had broken it off its hinges. Having entered the room he then slapped the female co-worker twice, causing injuries to her head.

The victim was then taken to Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital, suffering from dizziness, head, and neck aches. She was then released to her home, but was quickly readmitted after her dizziness and nausea persisted.

At that point she was diagnosed with a concussion and was admitted to Wolfson Medical Centerm where she continued to complain of dizziness as well as of nightmares. The victim was finally diagnosed as suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, and was ordered to take anti-depressants.

Speaking with social services, the defendant claimed he had felt the plaintiff disrespected him, saying "she teased me for months. I'm an honorable man…I felt that my honor was being slighted."

The former Public Security Ministry official admitted in his investigation that he had "wholeheartedly slapped" the victim, adding that he regretted the incident. A social services survey determined the defendant had suffered from PTSD as a result of his military experiences.

In her ruling, Judge Hadassah Naor wrote that "violent offences, especially those which injure the victim of the violent act, are serious and require a substantial punishment."

"While the court does not undervalue the defendant's honor, his loss of control, resulting from an injury to his honor, reaching the point of unbridled verbal and physical abuse, was a transgression of any reasonable and acceptable norm," Judge Naor said, adding that both the defendant and society as a whole had to be deterred from such behavior.

 

 

Speaking to Haaretz, the victim said that even though "three years and a day had passed I can't forget something like that," saying the defendant "began yelling at me, saying he was going to kill me, and I'm not alive, really horrible things, and attack me."

"He broke the door, which fell on me, picked me up from the floor, threw me on the table and beat me severely, blow after blow," the victim said, adding that while the indictment mentioned only two strikes, that was "far from being true."

"I don’t know how I even survived, how I stayed alive. One more blow and I would have been dead," she said.

The victim also referred to the sentence, which also ordered the defendant to pay her 15,000 NIS in compensation, saying that it was obviously an "unreasonable punishment, even from a medical, mental, and occupational point of view," adding that she felt the defendant should have been sent to prison.