String of abuse at preg­nant part­ner

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

A SHOCK­ING tale of abuse against a heav­ily preg­nant mother has re­sulted in a 36-year-old Can­non­vale man be­ing handed a 15-month jail sen­tence, although he will only have to serve three months of it.

The man broke a do­mes­tic vi­o­lence order a stag­ger­ing four times over a two month pe­riod in­clud­ing one oc­ca­sion where he broke it twice in 24 hours and an in­ci­dent where he pushed her in the back when she was around eight months preg­nant.

Ap­pear­ing from jail via video link in Proser­pine Mag­is­trates Court on Mon­day, the man pleaded guilty to all do­mes­tic vi­o­lence charges, breach­ing his bail and fail­ing to ap­pear.

Pros­e­cu­tor Bern­hard Berger said the first in­ci­dent oc­curred on De­cem­ber 7 last year around 8pm when the man be­came highly in­tox­i­cated and got into an ar­gu­ment with her at her home.

He even­tu­ally left but man­aged to get into the house around 9.30pm by “forc­ing open the roller garage door”.

Af­ter punch­ing a door he left but at 3am he re­turned again and started “bang­ing on the win­dows and started yelling to let him in”.

Af­ter get­ting into an ar­gu­ment with her she went to walk away but he pushed her in the back caus­ing her to “stum­ble for­ward and hit her head on the door frame caus­ing a mi­nor cut”. She even­tu­ally hit him and he left when po­lice were called.

On the morn­ing of Jan­uary 16 they got into an ar­gu­ment at her home over her 13-year-old daugh­ter and when she told him to leave he left but took the air-con­di­tion­ing re­motes, car keys and Wi-Fi in­ter­net mo­dem with him. He later re­turned and they started push­ing each other and when the daugh­ter tried to sep­a­rate them he slapped her hand away.

Less than 24 hours later on Jan­uary 17 around 6am he went to see her at the Proser­pine Hospi­tal where she was hav­ing a preg­nancy check up.

Mr Berger said he “barged his way into the hospi­tal room where he be­came ver­bally abu­sive to­wards both her and her mid­wife”.

He also sent her photos of jewellery, two elec­tronic tablets and a lap­top he had taken from her house.

The fi­nal in­ci­dent oc­curred on Jan­uary 26 around 7pm when an ar­gu­ment be­tween them es­ca­lated to “shout­ing and scream­ing” and the po­lice were called.

De­fence so­lic­i­tor Rose­mary Var­ley, of Mor­ton Lawyers, said the pair still main­tained reg­u­lar con­tact. The part­ner was in court with the new­born.

“Things started to go down hill for him (af­ter he lost his job). He felt financial pres­sures of not get­ting back to work and found it frus­trat­ing... and made ad­mis­sions his drink­ing had in­creased,” Ms Var­ley said.

Mag­is­trate Si­mon Young said “the ex­am­ple I make of him to­day must con­vince other peo­ple that this type of con­duct is un­ac­cept­able and will be met with harsh and swift judg­ment”.

He was fined $300 and sen­tenced to 15 months’ jail, with three months to be served be­fore start­ing a two year pro­ba­tion order.

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