A NSW prison guard is accused of assaulting his partner in front of their two young children while they drove home after a night out celebrating her job promotion.
On Tuesday (14 December), the man successfully applied for bail for the second time in the ACT Magistrates Court.
Court documents say when his partner told him she had just been given a promotion, they decided to go out and celebrate with their kids. When they got back to their car to return home, she saw one of their children having trouble with their seatbelt and asked him to help, but he allegedly responded, “f–k, she can do it herself”.
After they began driving home, he allegedly started insulting his partner, who was driving, elbowing her multiple times, leaving her with a bruise to her arm.
The man allegedly began yelling at the woman, causing their children to scream in fear. He kept punching and elbowing her as she drove, causing her to swerve.
He allegedly pulled her hair at one point, forcing her to look away from the road and making her swerve into oncoming traffic, then did it again as they turned a corner. He is also accused of punching her in the jaw and eye.
In court, the man’s lawyer, Georgia Briggs from Briggs Law, said he denied the current allegations. She claimed there was an element of self-defence in the case, with a photo taken after the incident showing he had a scratch to his eye.
She said he was working as a casual prison officer in NSW, performing tasks like assisting in a police station’s cells, but has also previously worked in Goulburn’s jail.
He had spent the last six days in custody, Ms Briggs said, during which he claimed to lose 10 kg as he was unable to eat.
She said he had spent his time in segregation due to his position as a prison officer and there were concerns for his safety if he was placed in the general population.
Also, she said, when he was younger, he had testified against a well-known crime family and there were concerns there could be acts of retribution against him for doing so.
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Magistrate Glenn Theakston said from reading the court documents there was a suggestion the man had been a “bit out of control” after a meal and that maybe alcohol was involved.
He said he shared the prosecution’s concerns over the risks of the man potentially offending if released from custody, but he thought appropriate conditions could address that.
Bail was granted with conditions, including that he not approach his partner. He has been charged with assault and will return to court in January 2022.
Riotact has not named the man to avoid identifying his partner.