Woman with baby attacked

A MAN who repeatedly bashed into a woman, tried to strangle her and shoved her over – all while she had a baby in her arms – has been sent to jail.

Peter James Orchard assaulted the woman on five separate occasions; once at the Childers court-house where a police prosecutor had to intervene.

Orchard, 29, appeared in custody in the Maryborough Magistrates Court where he was sentenced to 18 months in jail.

He will be paroled in April.

Prosecutor Senior Constable Steve Lord said Orchard was seen punching a woman outside a Childers business on June 3.

One month later he was at it again, punching the woman on a Childers street as she held a baby in her arms.

“He punched her in the face and grabbed her by the throat and tried to strangle her – she broke free,” Snr Const. Lord said.

On July 13 Orchard assaulted the woman again at a Maryborough home.

Nine days later he confronted her at a different Maryborough house, where he shoved her backwards on to a bed while she had the baby in her arms.

He then leaned on the woman and baby as he tried to grab the woman’s mobile phone.

On September 30 Orchard punched the woman in the head several times at the Childers courthouse.

A police prosecutor heard the commotion and ran to help but Orchard had fled.

Snr Const. Lord said Orchard had two prior breaches of a domestic violence order and deserved to be locked up.

“He’s punched her while she’s had a child in her arms, on more than one occasion,” he said.

“He’s also shown a blatant disregard for an order of the court.”

Defence lawyer Tammy Kerle said the relationship between the two had been extremely volatile.

Ms Kerle said Orchard had spent 98 days in custody and had received counselling while in prison.

“He realises he’s come to a crossroads in his life,” she said.

Magistrate John Smith told Orchard his actions were totally unacceptable and were not tolerated by the community.

Orchard was sentenced to a total of 18 months in jail with a parole release date of April 6.

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