Man used partner as ‘punching bag’

A CASINO man bashed his partner repeatedly over several days while preventing her from leaving the house, Lismore Local Court has heard.

Self-employed welder Allan Norman Murphy, 39, appeared in custody at the court on charges of assaulting and intimidating his partner in his Casino home last week.

The court was told during a bail hearing on Monday that Murphy, who is pleading not guilty to the charges, had used his partner ‘as a punching bag’ between November 17 and November 20.

“In domestic violence assaults the person is usually affected by alcohol and they will end up in an argument or a heated exchange,” police prosecutor Sergeant Steve Gerrish told the court.

“In this case it seems to be a random situation of making something out of nothing and, as (the victim) said, using her as a punching bag.”

With his client wearing prison greens and sitting quietly in the dock, defence counsel Ben Cochrane suggested the police version of the incident would be challenged, but did not go into details of Murphy’s version of events.

Sgt Gerrish told the court Murphy still had the support of his partner, but police wanted him to remain in custody to prevent any chance of him attacking her again.

He said this was not Murphy’s first attack on the woman, saying on a previous occasion he had bashed her he had then taken a knife and sat down beside her with the knife in his hand.

“We have serious concerns for the welfare of the victim. The court doesn’t want to put the accused out on bail where the victim will allow a situation where he can do it again and put her life in jeopardy,” he said.

That provoked a strong response from Mr Cochrane, who accused the prosecution of making claims against Murphy without producing evidence or records to back them up.

“It puts me in an impossible situation,” Mr Cochrane said. “It’s deeply unfair to suggest the use of a knife and that he sat there glowering at her in a malicious way and to have no chance to answer that.”

Mr Cochrane said Murphy’s alleged victim and his mother had both come to court to support him and that Murphy would accept bail conditions limiting his access to Lismore, where his partner had a house.

Magistrate Robyn Denes agreed with Sgt Gerrish and refused to grant bail.

“He’s not charged with detaining for advantage, but there’s an inference she (the victim) wasn’t allowed to leave and during that time he assaulted her on more than one occasion at a time when he was on a bond,” Ms Denes said.

“I’m not sure any conditions will protect her. This is way too serious, notwithstanding that she’s still supportive of him.”

Ms Denes remanded Murphy in custody to appear again on December 21, with the expectation the case would go to hearing in February.

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