'Where do you want the bullet?': Dad's threat to shoot mum

AN IPSWICH dad has been told to be proactive in helping his children recover from emotional trauma suffered after witnessing his domestic violence towards their mother.

A court heard the 35-year-old at one stage threatened to shoot his partner, and police had since confiscated his firearms.

The businessman has since sought help for his anger issues, and pleaded for leniency because of a $500,000 business debt with his professional livelihood at stake.

Magistrate David Shepherd said such behaviour in relationships could not be tolerated.

He said domestic violence legislation was intended to be a protective mechanism to avoid people being subjected to physical, mental or emotional violence, financial stress, or otherwise being dominated by the other party.

After being told the man and his wife would work to resume their marital relationship, Mr Shepherd said this needed to include their children.

"The big thing is to work on the damage done to your children," he said.

"This may not be recognised for some time."

The father-of-two pleaded guilty in the Ipswich Magistrates Court to domestic violence offences involving assault causing bodily harm; and unlawful assault.

In evidence there had been a heated verbal argument where the man threatened violence, saying he would go to his gun safe and get his rifle, asking his wife 'where do you want it?' (the bullet), and touching her forehead, saying 'that's where it's going to go'.

The court heard the man put his arm over the victim and tried to drag her over the back of the couch.

He then pulled her down on to the floor.

One of the children called triple-000.

The woman suffered minor injuries with soft tissue damage to the throat and side of her head.

In a statement, she said she felt the incident would not have a lasting effect on her and she did not want to see her husband go to jail.

"It is significant that his children witnessed this," the prosecutor said.

"He threatened her, put his finger on her forehead."

Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said his client had completed a Responsible Men's program, and spent 11 days in custody before being granted Supreme Court bail.

"There has been no preceding violence between them," Mr Fairclough said.

"He was accused of something about his father. It upset him greatly. It was heated, emotive, he lost control."

He conceded, that with no victim impact statement, some lack of detail left them "in the dark".

Mr Fairclough said it was significant the man had completed courses to gain insight, and to be able to deal with the factors contributing to his behaviour that day.

He said the man had a huge debt and a mortgage.

"If he is not able to work, they will go bankrupt, and lose the house. That's the reality," he said.

Mr Shepherd took into consideration the man's lack of history, but said it was concerning he had placed his hands around his wife's throat, that threats were made about a weapon, the manner in which this was imparted to her, and that it took place in front of their children.

He found it to be an "explosive type of incident" rather than an ongoing course of conduct.

Mr Shepherd placed him on a 12-month probation order, and ordered he complete 150 hours of unpaid community service work.

Mr Shepherd did not record a conviction.



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