News

Man beats woman while she holds her baby

A HERVEY Bay court has heard the gruesome details of an attack on a mother, who was choked and then beaten by her partner while she held her one-year-old daughter.

The 38-year-old man pleaded guilty to non-fatal choking in a domestic setting, assault occasioning bodily harm and five summary offences including stealing, assault and possessing dangerous drugs.

The court heard that in July 2016, the man and his female partner had both been drinking at a home in Point Vernon when they got into an argument.

Crown prosecutor Sarah Dennis said as the argument escalated, the defendant held one hand over the 26-year-old woman's mouth, and squeezed her throat with the other.

The man stopped when the victim's child started to cry in another room.

The woman went over to her child, and her attacker followed.

"While the complainant was sitting there with her child in her arms, the defendant hit her twice in the head," Ms Dennis said.

"He said 'you did this to yourself'… and threatened to 'cut her up into little pieces'."

When the mother screamed for help, the man "covered her mouth and punched [the woman] in the head," the prosecutor said.

"The complainant suffered swelling and a split lip … she would have been particularly terrified and would have been fearful for her safety and that of the child."

Police found the victim in a nearby street with her child, and spoke to the defendant the next day.

The man told police he had been in an argument with the woman, but did not tell them that he had choked or hit her.

The court heard that the man was on bail at the time, for stealing money from two Queensland hotels.

In one incident, the man stole $4000 and in the other he stole $1400.

He also assaulted a witness who was trying to stop one of the thefts.

The man's defence lawyer Jessica Horne said her client's life was on track until his mother passed away about two years ago, and he lost his steady income.

Ms Horne said the man and the complainant had been dating for a month before the incident, and there were "no problems" before that night.

"[The man] instructs me he broke up the relationship, but the argument escalated," Ms Horne said.

Ms Horne said compared to the other choking in a domestic setting cases already sentenced in Queensland, her client's was less serious.

"The choking was relatively brief," she said.

"This offending is slightly less serious, but with the summary matters, I submit two years' [imprisonment] might be appropriate."

Judge Long sentenced the man to serve a total of 27 months for the attack on the woman and the summary offences.

After serving 211 days in pre-sentence custody, the man's parole release date was set for March 20, 2017.

*For 24-hour support in Queensland phone DVConnect on 1800 811 811, MensLine on 1800 600 636 or the national hotline 1800RESPECT  on 1800 737 732.

Topics:  domestic violence editors picks fccourt fccrime



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