Jail warning for man who bashed partner
A Geraldton magistrate has sent a strong message to a domestic violence offender, telling him if he assaulted any future partners he would go straight to jail.
Ethan Lockyer, 23, changed his plea to the charge of unlawful assault occasioning bodily harm to guilty in Geraldton Magistrate’s Court last Thursday.
Police said in an incident captured on CCTV camera, Lockyer assaulted his then-partner when she left their vehicle, which was travelling on North West Coastal Highway in Spalding on September 20 last year, punching her multiple times in the face and “swinging” her by her hair.
His defence lawyer said while Lockyer disputed the amount of times he punched his former partner and that he instead dragged her back to the car by the hair, he accepted he had issues with “coercive control” and that’s why the relationship was over.
She said he was willing to attend counselling when he returned to live in Geraldton if he was released and allowed to attend important cultural lore business in the Pilbara.
Appearing from Greenough Regional Prison, Lockyer’s hearing was scheduled to vacate the trial date due to his change of plea.
He previously pleaded guilty on three separate court dates over the past six months to two counts of breaching a conditional release order in Burringurrah on April 30 last year, a breach of bail in Geraldton on September 7, another in Carnarvon on September 27, a breach of protective bail conditions in Brockman on March 25 and to obstructing police officers on the same occasion.
Magistrate Chris Miocevich said while Lockyer’s record of domestic violence and the recent offences were “so serious” they warranted imprisonment, his sentence took into account the more than six months Lockyer had spent in prison.
“This most recent assault was your most serious. I’ve seen footage . . . in relation to dispute of facts in my eyes it doesn’t make a difference, whether it’s one punch or two,” he said.
“The penalties for domestic violence must reflect the community’s intolerance . . . to deter you and protect victims.”
“I’ve taken into account you’ve been in custody for over six months and your plea of guilty, and I’m left with a sentence of less than six months . . . so fines will be issued . . . If you assault your partner, expect to go to jail.”
He was fined a total of $1900 and given no reporting conditions or community-based orders upon his release.