Little girl witnesses horror choking attack on mother
A LITTLE girl cried as she desperately tried to pull her father's hands off her mother's throat during a horrific domestic violence attack.
The victim thought she was going to die when her partner of 17 years and husband for six choked her twice in front of her young daughter.
It was January 1 this year at a small Central Queensland town when the man provoked an argument, accusing his wife of cheating after she said planned to go shopping.
He kept pushing the allegations despite her protesting they were untrue and when she took her child, aged under three years, into the shower he followed and punched her in the mouth.
"The child began screaming," Crown prosecutor Ben Jackson said.
Mackay District Court heard he left but returned minutes later and "grabbed her around the throat with both his hands and squeezed her neck".
The woman could not breath and "she felt like she was going to fall unconscious", Mr Jackson said.
"She unsuccessfully attempted to pull his hands away with her hands and the child tried … as well … to get him away from her mother," Mr Jackson said.
"(She) believed that she was going to die.
"She had blurry vision and she started to go black. She felt like she saw stars."
The court heard the father of five let go after a few seconds - she told him "you're a deadset idiot".
Mr Jackson said the assault then moved to the little girl's bedroom when the man yelled out: "I know you have slept with him".
The man entered his daughter's bedroom where the mother and child were and kneed her in the leg causing her to collapse on the bed.
He yelled at her demanding she tell the truth before wrapping a hand around her throat and squeezing.
"(She) this time believed that she was going to die, and again her vision started to go black" Mr Jackson said.
"She tried to remove his hand but was unable to do so."
The court heard he stopped after a few seconds and left the room. She managed to dress herself and her daughter before leaving the house to go to the police station.
As she walked out the door he called her a "dog" and a "snitch".
He pleaded guilty to four charges including choking, assault causing bodily harm and common assault. He has spent 115 days in custody, which was declared as time served.
Defence barrister Matt Heelan said since the offending his client had insight and pushed for a jail term with an immediate release.
But Judge Deborah Richards said the conduct was too serious and the man had to serve more time.
"The little girl was a witness … she was screaming," Judge Richards said.
"And then she tried to defend her mother against your efforts to strangle her."
The court heard he had three children to the victim and two older children from another relationship.
Mr Heelan said his client had gone through a rough patch and started using ice following a job loss about seven years ago.
While in pre sentence custody he had sought counselling.
The court heard the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been on bail for the past six months and in that time had maintained a necessary relationship with the woman for the benefit of their children.
Mr Heelan said the woman had indicated she wanted the man to take over primary custody of the kids.
The pair were no longer together and he lived away from the victim, but the children had visited.
"He wants to set the right example for his kids," Mr Heelan said.
"He does not want his son to turn out violent or turn to crime."
Judge Richards labelled it a "fairly serious example of this offending" - she said it was persistent as he followed her around the house while he assaulted her.
"Domestic violence is considered to be a scourge in our community," she said.
"It is very important that people who participate in violence towards their partner understand if they commit offences like this they go to jail."
The man was jailed for two and a half years with parole release on April 12 next year, to reflect the mitigating factors such as his early plea.
Convictions were recorded.
QUEENSLAND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES
DVConnect Womensline: 1800 811 811
DVConnect Mensline: 1800 600 636
1800RESPECT national hotline: 1800 656 463
NATIONAL 24/7 CRISIS SERVICES
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78
beyondblue: 1300 22 46 36
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800