WARNING: This story contains graphic descriptions of domestic violence.
A Canberra landscaper will fight allegations he choked his former partner as she held their child, leaving her with life-altering injuries.
Court documents allege the couple were at home in Dunlop on 20 February 2018 when Jamie Damien Millard began pacing around and screaming at his partner.
He allegedly grabbed her throat with one hand and pulled upwards until she was standing on the tips of her toes as their child cried in her arms.
Police allege Millard then pushed her head against a pantry door and ground his fist into her cheek.
As the woman’s throat was swollen, later that night he took her to Calvary Hospital, allegedly warning her not to tell anyone what she claimed happened to her.
A few weeks later, on 9 April 2018, Millard allegedly began screaming at the woman as he believed she had been unfaithful when she was at the gym.
As she started crying, she told him she could get closed-circuit television footage from her gym to prove she was there.
He then allegedly grabbed her by the throat and demanded that she stop crying, saying she was overacting so neighbours would call the police. He also allegedly later pushed her and slammed a door on her finger.
After this, he told her to stop going to that gym and go to a female-only centre.
On 15 March 2019, Millard again accused the woman of infidelity.
“[He] screamed at her, stating that he had observed her having sexual intercourse with an unknown person inside the house having been standing outside the windows for an unknown period of time,” police allege.
“[He] became further enraged as [she] attempted to calm him down as he ran from room to room of the house looking for the person he suspected of being present.”
He allegedly pushed her against their pantry door as she held their child, and he covered her mouth while demanding she stop screaming.
He allegedly shoved his forearm into her chin, forcing her to bite her lip which drew blood, and pushed her into a wall, all while she held their child.
Police arrived at the house, but the woman was terrified of any repercussions that could come from speaking to them so she hid her injuries, declined medical attention and refused to participate in a family violence interview.
Police said that “since these [alleged] attacks, [the woman] continues to suffer life-altering health conditions and has been relocated by support agencies to an undisclosed location in [another state]”.
Millard pleaded not guilty to charges, including assault and choking, stemming from these three alleged incidents. He will face a hearing over them in February 2022.
But he was more recently accused of contravening a family violence order which protects the same woman, allegedly calling her a “b-tch” in a social media message to another person in July 2021. This other person told the woman of their conversation.
The 40-year-old was arrested and appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday (5 August). Prosecutor David Swan opposed his bail over concerns of possible offending in the future.
Millard’s lawyer, Sarah Boxall from Boxall Legal, said his relationship with the woman had ended and the charges related to alleged conduct that occurred some time ago, so were “not current”.
She said he had three employees at his landscaping business and refusing bail would put them out of work.
Ms Boxall also said her client was charged in February 2021 and had not breached his bail since then.
Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker did grant bail, saying while the alleged breach of his family violence order would have been highly distressing to the woman, it was at the very low end of seriousness.
“I’ve not come to the conclusion lightly that bail should be continued, and in fact, I have some reservations,” she said.
“You are on extremely thin ice in respect to your freedom at this point in time.”
She adjourned the breach matter to 24 August for a plea.
Millard’s former partner has provided her consent to name him as the subject of her allegations.
If this story has raised any concerns for you, 1800RESPECT, the national 24-hour sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line, can be contacted on 1800 737 732. Help and support are also available through The Canberra Rape Crisis Centre 02 6247 2525, The Domestic Violence Crisis Service ACT 02 6280 0900, and Lifeline: 13 11 14. In an emergency call 000.