Shepparton News

Jail time for order breaches


- By Alex Mitchell

A man who breached family violence interventi­on orders three times while alcohol affected has copped a prison sentence.

The Benalla man, 27, who cannot be named, pleaded guilty to the three interventi­on order contravent­ions and was sentenced to 96 days in jail, time he had already served.

Prosecutor Molly Wooderson told the Shepparton Magistrate­s’ Court the man was prevented from contacting his ex-partner and mother of his son when he had consumed alcohol, along with approachin­g her or remaining within 200 m of her known location.

It was heard on July 25, 2020, the man had four to five drinks at a family gathering where his expartner and son were, before leaving with his brother to buy more alcohol. They consumed ‘‘most’’ of the alcohol on the way home.

Ms Wooderson said the victim had been taking her dog for a run at around 11.30 pm, when she heard the man yelling at a neighbour’s house ‘‘where is she?’’

The victim approached the man and asked if he had been drinking, to which he replied ‘‘what’s it to you?’’

She returned home and called police, who could not locate the accused when they attended.

The court heard police were again called at 3.50 am, the victim telling them the man and his brother had returned and were banging on the front door.

Ms Wooderson said the man had also been ‘‘very abusive’’ to those in attendance — including his ex-partner — at a barbecue on December 18, 2020.

It was heard he was smashing objects and threatenin­g people while intoxicate­d.

The court heard the man passed out, was dragged to bed and was again abusive to the victim in the morning.

The man also admitted attending the woman’s house after drinking on May 14. It was heard he threatened to ‘‘bash’’ the victim and ‘‘smash the house’’ if she did not let him inside.

Defence counsel Kate Martin said her client had immediatel­y told her he’d ‘‘really screwed up this time’’ when she met him in custody.

She noted each matter involved alcohol, with which the man had a problem.

Magistrate David Faram noted the man had successful­ly completed correction­s orders previously that included alcohol treatment, and pondered if that treatment had taught him coping mechanisms.

Ms Martin responded: ‘‘the demon of alcohol addiction and abuse is a very significan­t one to wrestle with’’.

Mr Faram also questioned the man’s intent to be a father for his son, remarking, ‘‘in the end he’ll either choose to be a dad or he won’t’’.

‘‘Have you ever thought about the impact of your behaviour on this little boy?’’ Mr Faram said.

‘‘They’re sponges, they soak up everything around them.’’

The man told the magistrate he was working through mental health issues, struggling to juggle work life with family life.

Mr Faram, who thanked the man for engaging in dialogue with him, also imposed a good behaviour bond that requires the man to attend a doctor and discuss drug and alcohol abuse.

He labelled the prison stint a ‘‘picture of the future if he doesn’t make the changes’’.

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