24 November 2021

Chainsaw-wielding businessman who attacked girlfriend in Fyshwick avoids extra jail time

| Albert McKnight
Man outside ACT Courts

The 48-year-old who chased his girlfriend down the street with a chainsaw leaves court after his sentencing. Photo: Albert McKnight.

Revving a chainsaw, a businessman chased his girlfriend down a street in Fyshwick before bashing her in the head.

The 48-year-old spent two-and-a-half months behind bars over the attack but was spared any extra jail time when he was sentenced in the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday (23 November).

Closed-circuit television footage screened to the court showed him revving the chainsaw behind his girlfriend while following her down an alley.

“I’m gonna kill ya. I’m gonna f–king kill ya,” he yelled after dropping the chainsaw.

The pair are also seen struggling on the ground as she screamed, “help me, help me”.

Prosecutor Julia Epstein told the court the man had grabbed the woman by her neck, held her on the ground by sitting on top of her and punched her three times in the head while telling her, “you’re going to die, b—h. You’re going to die”.

Legal Aid’s Edward Chen said the incident started because his client wanted the woman to leave his business in Fyshwick as the man believed she had been scaring away his customers.

READ ALSO Woman allegedly attacked by chainsaw-wielding businessman in Fyshwick

He said the man used the chainsaw to scare her off and went back to chopping up wood, but then she returned to berate him and threw a metal pole from a vacuum cleaner at him. He then chased her away twice more before getting rid of the chainsaw.

Mr Chen said his client never intended to carry out the threat to kill and had accrued a $70,000 debt due to a loss of income after being taken into custody.

Magistrate Glenn Theakston said a chainsaw was “perhaps one of the most dangerous devices one can have without a licence”, which was capable of causing “grotesque” injuries.

He said “the use of the chainsaw is alarming”, even if the man had only wanted the woman to leave.

READ ALSO Birthday party turned into night of bloodshed when two people were stabbed

Magistrate Theakston also said there was a degree of provocation, saying the woman had returned with the vacuum cleaner pole a number of times when she could have just left.

The man had pleaded guilty to charges of making a reckless threat to kill and assault.

Magistrate Theakston sentenced him to four months’ jail but took into account the two-and-a-half months he spent on remand as time served, suspended the remainder and released him that day. He was also handed a 12-month good behaviour order.

Region Media has not named the man to avoid identifying the woman.

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