More serious than just verbal abuse
CROSSING the line between a verbal argument and physical abuse has cost a Proserpine man $1000 and a stern warning from Magistrate Simon Young.
At 8.30am on November 7, the man was asleep at a Proserpine home where the victim, with whom he was in a relationship, and their two children, were also present.
Prosecutor Bernhard Berger said the victim went out, despite the man telling her he was feeling unwell and asking her to wait until he got up.
He then fell asleep believing she was watching the children.
He was woken by his step-dad who told him his kids were on the road.
“He was in a state of shock and fearful about potential harm to the children (and) at this time the aggrieved has arrived back at the house,” Mr Berger said.
Believing the victim was “not taking matters seriously” the man grabbed her “forcefully” by the wrists.
These actions contravened a domestic protection order made in the Proserpine Magistrates Court on March 18.
Jennine Kiley from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (ATSILS), who was representing the man in court on Monday, said he had been through “a pretty rough time” since 2013.
She said the relationship had been “on-again, off-again” and while the man had previously had custody of the kids, he hadn’t now seen them since these events.
Magistrate Young said even though this was at the lower end of the scale for physical violence “it’s still physical violence”.
While he was satisfied the mitigating factors didn’t justify a period of imprisonment, Mr Young said the man’s history was relevant.
“You’ve been issued fines and probation in the past (and) that hasn’t had complete success,” he said, adding this was “more serious than verbal abuse”.
Taking into account the man’s financial situation, the $1000 fine Mr Young imposed was referred to the State Penalties Enforcement Registry.
But there was also a warning: “The next charge of this nature could well be jail,” Mr Young said.