A Canberra landscaper who lashed out at his girlfriend, throttling and stomping on her all while they were near her young child, was released from custody on Tuesday (10 August) after spending almost five months in jail.
Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker said the man, aged in his late 30s, was sitting in bed, watching a movie at his short-term partner’s home in Harrison on 21 March 2021 while her seven-year-old child was nearby.
He struck her in the head so she told him to leave. He responded by grabbing her by the throat.
The woman got out of bed and tried to call police, but he told her: “If you do, it’s over. You’re dead.”
He smashed a photo frame into his own head then threw his girlfriend to the floor. While she was lying down, he stomped her twice on her back.
When she got to her feet, she did call Triple Zero, and he left the house before the woman was taken to hospital.
At about 11:00 pm that night, police saw him driving in Harrison, but he refused to stop for them. At times he was driving at 120 km/h in an 80 km/h zone. He was later arrested in Braddon.
The man’s Legal Aid lawyer, Mr Chen, told the court his client had stopped going to a counselling program while in prison because he would have had to mix with other inmates who had threatened him, and he was afraid of being there with them.
Magistrate Walker said the abuse, which she described as being of a “heinous nature”, occurred in the presence of a child and children exposed to violence were likely to continue that pattern.
She said the woman had been left with permanent scarring, and she and the child had both suffered a significant psychological impact.
While the man was a methamphetamine user, she said he hadn’t used the drug since he was incarcerated in March.
The man had pleaded guilty to a range of charges, including assault, choking and driving recklessly.
Magistrate Walker sentenced him to 21 months’ jail to be served via an intensive corrections order (ICO), a community-based sentence.
After he was granted bail over another charge, for which he will return to court in December, he was released from custody.
Under his ICO, he was ordered to live in Banks, not leave the house between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am, and not contact the woman he bashed.