8 June 2021

Alleged home invaders plead not guilty to bashing pregnant woman

| Albert McKnight
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ACT Law Courts

Two people have pleaded not guilty over an alleged home invasion in Canberra last year. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

WARNING: This story contains graphic descriptions of violence.

The ACT Supreme Court has heard that attackers allegedly tried to kill a pregnant woman’s unborn baby during a home invasion.

In September 2020, the woman was at home in Canberra when Julieann Frances Williams, 38, Anthony Daniel McIver, 32, and another unnamed person allegedly approached her.

Ms Williams allegedly began punching the woman, who was 17 weeks pregnant, while the unnamed person tore out a chunk of her hair as the woman tried to protect her stomach with her hands.

“If you just put your arms up it will all be over,” the unnamed person allegedly told her.

The judge-alone trial for Williams and McIver began on Tuesday (8 June).

Prosecutor Elizabeth Wren said the day before the alleged attack the woman had posted on social media that she and her boyfriend, who was Williams’ ex-partner, were expecting a baby.

The next day the woman was on her porch when a black car allegedly pulled up outside her house and the three assailants got out.

Ms Wren said Williams struck the woman in the face then continued to assault her in the house, punching her about seven or eight times as she tried to protect her stomach.

It’s then she said she was told the assault would be over if she put her hands up.

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The woman, who said she ended up in a fetal position on the floor, told the court the assault ended after McIver, whom she did not know at the time, yelled out “enough now”.

Ms Wren said when police arrived she was “covered in blood” and was taken to Canberra Hospital where she learned her baby had survived.

At the hospital, the woman told police her assailants wanted to cause her to miscarry.

“You could punch me 50 times in the head, but I’m not putting my arms up,” she said.

“You’re not hurting my baby.”

Police asked her what was going through her mind when the incident took place.

“She’s trying to get to my stomach,” she said. “That’s my child, that’s my baby.”

While the woman said she and Williams were acquaintances, Ms Wren said the woman did not know McIver.

READ ALSO Home invader warned against vigilantism after assaulting victim over perceived crimes

Ms Williams’ barrister, Jack Tyler-Stott of Elizabeth Street Chambers, told the court the central issue in the case was one of identification and the purported identification did not contain a strong factual basis.

He suggested to the woman she had never met Williams.

“Yes I have met her; yes, I know Julieann Williams,” she said.

She told McIver’s Legal Aid lawyer Dr Jan de Bruin the man involved in the incident never entered her home.

Williams pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated burglary and assault while McIver pleaded not guilty to being knowingly concerned to the charges.

The trial continues before Justice Michael Elkaim.

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