Jail for hit that took woman’s eye
A 34-year-old man who used a broom to strike his partner in the face with enough force her eye needed to be completely removed was this week jailed for three years and eight months.
The woman was taken by ambulance to Geraldton Regional Hospital on the night of December 14 after a heated argument with Ronald Michael Martin turned violent in his Utakarra home.
Martin and the woman had been arguing about previous relationships when he struck her in the chest and then grabbed a broom, which he used to strike her in the face.
The broom hit with enough force it ruptured the woman’s left eyeball and caused several fractures to the eye socket.
After she sought medical attention, doctors had to remove her eyeball completely.
Martin, who was on a violence restraining order and not permitted to be within 20m of the woman when the incident occurred, was arrested later that night.
He was charged with breaching a violence restraining order and aggravated grievous bodily harm, to which he pleaded guilty in Geraldton District Court on Monday.
Martin, who has not spent more than eight months out of custody since 2007, had previously been convicted of assaulting the same woman.
He had only been released from jail just over a month before the latest incident occurred.
State prosecutor Michael Perrella said in 2015 Martin had been convicted of aggravated unlawful assault causing bodily harm after punching the woman in the face.
“It highlights the nature of the relationship,” he said.
The court was told of Martin’s troubled upbringing, which included homelessness, domestic violence and substance abuse.
Defence counsel Kate TurtleyChappel said Martin had previously enjoyed being incarcerated because of his “kingpin” status among other inmates, but had recently begun programs in prison and had started writing a book.
She said he now hoped to use it as a chance to be rehabilitated, and hoped one day to become a youth counsellor. Judge Vicki Stewart accepted Martin had had a traumatic childhood, but said she had to protect vulnerable women from this type of behaviour.
“The community does not condone domestic violence of any kind and neither does this court,” she said. “This is a serious assault resulting in permanent disability to the victim.”
Martin had his sentence backdated to December 15 and was given a 20 per cent reduction for an early guilty plea.
He was made eligible for parole.