28 February 2021

Father who allegedly beat his wife with a belt and choked daughter released on bail

| Albert McKnight
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ACT Law Courts

A Canberra father has been charged with several counts of assault and strangulation. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

A Canberra father accused of repeatedly beating his wife and choking their daughter will be released from custody after he was granted bail.

The man, who cannot named so as to protect the identity of his family, is aged in his 50s and was arrested after an allegedly violent evening in February when he accused his wife of being unfaithful to him.

That evening he had allegedly punched his wife’s left hand and wrist causing bruising, grabbed her neck leaving marks, and ripped her shirt.

The couple’s son told police his mother had never cheated on his father, despite his father allegedly accusing her of doing so every few weeks.

After he was arrested, his wife also told the Australian Federal Police that in January the man allegedly struck her on the forearm with his belt before placing it around her neck from behind and telling her he would kill her.

The same month the woman told their daughter, who is in aged in her teens, he had allegedly struck her with a belt several times leaving bruises to her arms and forearms.

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Afterwards, the daughter went to talk to her father and the conversation escalated into violence. He allegedly punched her on the shoulder and choked her with one hand.

“[The daughter] described how the pressure applied to her throat caused her to become nauseated as she struggled to breath, with those effects persisting even after the defendant had released his grip,” police said in the statement of facts.

The man first appeared before the ACT Magistrates Court earlier in February facing charges that included three counts of assault and two counts of strangulation.

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The prosecutor told the court the statement of facts in the case showed he had allegedly been “exercising control over his wife and daughter” and that the mother and daughter had been reluctant to report the alleged offences due to embarrassment.

Special Magistrate Jane Campbell told the court the assault allegations appeared to show the couple’s daughter coming to defend her mother, only to become an alleged victim as well.

She said the “alarming” parts of the allegations were around the man allegedly putting his belt around his wife’s neck combined with threatening to kill her, to which the man said “I would never”.

When Special Magistrate Campbell refused him bail earlier this month he said “no, please don’t” before the hearing ended.

But he was successful in his bid for bail when he appeared before the court again this week, after being charged with an additional count of strangulation.

Magistrate Glenn Theakston granted bail on the conditions that include the man not go within 100 metres of his family’s home. The matter has been adjourned to March.

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ChrisinTurner2:06 pm 28 Feb 21

When will the law better protect our women? Was he fitted with a tracker and alarm to police if he approaches the home? How is the woman expected to go shopping or to work? Does the ACT have the technology to release these people on bail safety? How can worse behaviour achieve release on bail?

John Brookes1:15 pm 28 Feb 21

This is ridiculous. They should make the Magistrate who granted bail go live with the accused. My cousin’s partner was granted bail under similar circumstances, after cutting gas pipes and locking her and their daughter in their kitchen; then abducting the daughter before arrest. The day after getting bail he waited for my cousin after she left work and stabbed her multiple times with a long screwdriver, with such force she was pinned to the seat. He was jailed for murder but should never have been out in the first place. No wonder victims – whatever gender – are unwilling to trust the system.

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