Man given jail term for assault

CHRISTMAS Day is supposed to be a time of celebration but the day was ruined for two Fraser Coast women last year after they were assaulted by an acquaintance.

Shane Marcus Merriman was sentenced to a three-month suspended jail term this week after pleading guilty in Maryborough Magistrates Court to assault occasioning bodily harm.

The 37-year-old had attended a Christmas gathering in Maryborough on December 25 last year and had an argument with his ex-partner.

Later in the day he had another altercation with his ex and her female friend at a Kent Street house.

Prosecutor Sergeant Craig Ryan said Merriman dragged the friend out of a car and both fell to the ground during the struggle.

The victim suffered grazes and bruising to her leg and shoulder.

Defence lawyer Travis George said Merriman was trying to get a set of car keys off the woman because he believed she was drunk and should not drive.

“Unsurprisingly, alcohol was involved,” Mr George said.

“He'd been consuming alcohol for much of the day.

“He was angry at the time.

“He was emotional. He was volatile.

“Christmas Day is always an emotional day for people who are separated.

“He didn't deal with things well and he's very remorseful for that.”

Sgt Ryan said Merriman had a history of violence and should be sentenced to a term of imprisonment.

Magistrate John Smith agreed jail was the appropriate penalty to act as a deterrent to Merriman.

Mr Smith sentenced Merriman to a three-month jail term but suspended the whole term for a period of two years.

Merriman was ordered to pay $500 compensation to the victim.

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