CHOKED, ABUSED, LIV­ING IN FEAR

Vi­o­lent part­ners face court af­ter women punched, threat­ened with weapons, stran­gled and blood­ied

Warwick Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - ELYSE WURM

A JUDGE has slammed vi­o­lence against women as “the most gross abuse of trust” af­ter three men were sen­tenced in War­wick this week for “ab­hor­rent” do­mes­tic vi­o­lence of­fences.

One woman was choked un­til she blacked out, an­other woman had a hand shoved so far down her throat she coughed up blood and a third was held at knife­point.

Judge Jen­nifer Rosen­gren told the court do­mes­tic vi­o­lence was an in­sid­i­ous prob­lem in the com­mu­nity.

“Do­mes­tic vi­o­lence against women who are in their homes is par­tic­u­larly ab­hor­rent to the com­mu­nity,” she said.

Scott Richard Allen, a 22year-old man who was liv­ing in War­wick at the time of his of­fences, was the third of­fender to ad­mit to vi­o­lent acts at War­wick Dis­trict Court this week.

He pleaded guilty to one count each of chok­ing and wil­ful dam­age.

Crown pros­e­cu­tor Michael Mitchell said Allen was ar­gu­ing with his 30-year-old girl­friend in Novem­ber when he sud­denly grabbed her throat with one hand and squeezed, crush­ing her wind­pipe so she couldn’t breathe.

The court heard Allen then moved be­hind the woman and wrapped both arms around her neck, chok­ing her un­til she blacked out.

Sukhjin­der Singh, 36, pleaded guilty yes­ter­day to mul­ti­ple do­mes­tic vi­o­lence of­fences in­clud­ing two counts of as­sault oc­ca­sion­ing bod­ily harm and one count of com­mon as­sault.

The crown said Singh as­saulted his wife on mul­ti­ple oc­ca­sions be­tween Fe­bru­ary and Novem­ber, in­clud­ing one in­stance where he shoved his hand down her throat un­til she could not breathe and po­lice later saw her cough­ing up blood. He re­ceived 15 months’ jail sus­pended for two years.

Allen, who the court heard had a lengthy crim­i­nal his­tory in­clud­ing pre­vi­ous acts of vi­o­lence, had al­ready spent nine months and one week in cus­tody. He was sen­tenced to two years’ jail and with a pa­role re­lease date of Septem­ber 22 this year.

The third man sen­tenced was James Wil­liam John­son, 36, who the court heard held a knife to his part­ner’s throat and threat­ened to stab her.

The Goondi­windi man pleaded guilty to threat­en­ing vi­o­lence at night and com­mon as­sault.

Mr Mitchell said John­son re­moved the knife from her neck, but later punched her seven times in the head.

John­son was sen­tenced to six months’ jail, which was im­me­di­ately sus­pended for two years. He was also given two years’ pro­ba­tion.

Th­ese hor­rific acts of vi­o­lence are not iso­lated in­ci­dents within the War­wick com­mu­nity. Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Ac­tion Cen­tre Toowoomba act­ing CEO Kath Tur­ley said there had been a rise in do­mes­tic vi­o­lence or­der ap­pli­ca­tions at War­wick Mag­is­trates Court this year.

Be­tween July and De­cem­ber there were 157 mat­ters be­fore the court, but be­tween Jan­uary and June this year there had been 193 ap­pli­ca­tions.

Ms Tur­ley said the cen­tre was see­ing a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions in­clud­ing stran­gu­la­tion, as­sault with weapons, threats for us­ing weapons and as­sault.

She said the in­crease may not point to more vi­o­lence, but women be­ing em­pow­ered to make ap­pli­ca­tions, or im­proved po­lice re­sponses.

If you or some­one you know needs help, call the Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Ac­tion Cen­tre on 4642 1354, Womensline on 1800 811 811 or Mensline on 1800 600 636.

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