SmartWater spray helped jail violent offender

A Wakefield man has been jailed after SmartWater evidence helped prove he had been in contact with his victim.

By Nick Frame
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 8:44 am

The special liquid, which only shows up under UV light and takes months to fade from clothes and skin, was sprayed at the 31-year-old when he approached his victim.

She had been given the spray canister as part of a new initiative being used by West Yorkshire Police to prevent and detect repeat domestic abuse offences.

Lee Wass, of no fixed address, visited the victim’s home in Featherstone while subject to a non-molestation order.

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SmartWater flecks can be seen on the jacket on the right, under the UV light.

The victim was able to spray him with the SmartTag solution and the unique tag was found on his clothing after his arrest.

He was swiftly charged and convicted of breach of a non-molestation order and harassment and was jailed for 48 weeks in total after he also admitted a charge of assaulting a male and causing actual bodily harm to another male.

A two-year restraining order was also put in place.

Superintendent Lee Berry, of West Yorkshire Police’s Safeguarding Central Governance Unit, said: “No-one should have to live in fear in their own home.

SmartWater could clearly be seen on the defendant's jacket.

"We are always looking at new ways to reduce and detect domestic abuse and this Wakefield Community Safety Partnership-funded initiative is an innovative approach to protecting victims and ensuring offenders are brought to justice.

“The victim in this case was visited by officers from Wakefield Adult Safeguarding Unit and she told them how having the SmartTag canister made her feel very protected and much more safe and how she would recommend it to other victims.

“I would urge anyone who has been the victim of domestic abuse - whether that’s physical abuse, controlling or coercive behaviour, harassment or stalking - to please report it to the police so that we can help you to feel safe again.”