Domestic violence generic hands up
Domestic violence generic hands up

Charleville man chokes and throws aircon at partner

A Charleville father-of-two has shown very little regard for court orders and punishments in the past and his violent behaviour has earnt him the label as a 'chronic danger' to any partner he may have.

The 23-year-old local has choked one of his previous partners to the point of dizziness, thrown an airconditioning unit on her while already pushed to the ground, and sprayed deodorant in her mouth.

He has also shown disregard to the road rules and has been busted for driving erratically through the streets of Charleville.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, faced the Charleville District Court on February 17 on six indictable offences including serious assault and choking, as well as 13 summary charges including five counts of trespass, two counts of disqualified driving, evasion, and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, among others.

'Unmanly' behaviour

The court the offender acted in the 'most discredible way' to one of his previous partners.

Crown prosecutor Ron Swanwick said he threw the victim to the ground and chucked an aircon unit on her, causing her to lie flat on November 2019.

The offender then elbowed her to the nose, causing a minor wound, and pushed her away when she tried to leave the room.

"At some point, he choked her from behind and she had difficulty breathing," Mr Swanwick told the court.

"He got [her] onto the bed with one hand on her neck. He pushed on and squeezed her windpipe."

The offender let go when she started to cough, and her throat was left 'extremely sore'.

The court heard the violent attack on the victim last between 15-30 minutes.

Mr Swanwick said the offender was arrested for this on March 18, 2020.

The court also heard he blew mucus on her face, sent intimate videos to himself without permission via her phone, and sprayed deodorant in her mouth during separate incidents.

He also breached his bail while committing the offences.

Judge Michael Burnett said the offender's behaviour towards women is a 'major concern in our community'.

"You are very fortunate that the worst that she complained of was feeling some dizziness afterwards, and otherwise suffering coughing and... difficulty speaking [and a] sore throat," Judge Burnett said.

"Let me say, the authorities indicated in circumstances where there's a loss of consciousness; the sentence is much higher."

He said the offender should be 'utterly ashamed' of his behaviour.

"There's absolutely no justification for it - it's unmanly.

"This isn't a one-off thing, this is a flaw in your character.

"You've moved on from this complainant but there'll be someone else who... you will, no doubt, take up with.

"That person won't know much about your history and again, has to be protected as best the community can."


Illegal joy ride

The same offender also came before the court after committing a slew of driving offences, including disqualified driving.

He was spotted by a witness driving on April 7, 2020, and backed into the gates of a Wellwater Rd property, Mr Swanwick told the court.

"He appeared to be drug-affected," Mr Swanwick said.

Police saw the offender driving a ute on Edward St doing burnouts and doughnuts, blowing a tyre in the process in October 2020.

When police started to chase him with lights and sirens, the driver sped away.

His vehicle did a spin after losing traction, then he drove towards the police vehicle and hit it on the right side of the bullbar.

He drove away but eventually stopped, hopped out, and ran away.

In a separate incident on October 9, the offender was running from police and jumped fences on Sturt and Galatea Streets, earning him the five charges of trespass.

Mr Swanwick said police intercepted a vehicle on April 8, 2020, and the occupant stated a glass pipe in there belonged to the offender.

Judge Burnett reminded him that he's committed three disqualified driving offences in the past.

"You have an appalling traffic history for someone who's so young," Judge Burnett said.

"You simply... have no regard to the sentences below and continued to drive a vehicle.

"It seems like fines and disqualifications do nothing to deter you in engaging in that sort of behaviour."


The Verdict

Given that the defendant was deemed unfit for community-based orders, imprisonment was floated as the only viable option.

Mr Swanwick told the court the offender has expressed no remorse for his offending to date.

"This is a case where deterrence, punishment will take precedence over rehabilitation," he said.

"He is a chronic danger to any domestic partner he has.

"He is entirely anti-social in his attitude. He has no respect for court orders."

Barrister Phillip Hardcastle, appearing for ATSILS solicitor Laurie Parker, said the offender has lived between 'carer to carer' since his parents separated when he was very young.

He started to go downhill after the age of 17.

"After that, he started, unfortunately, using drugs, marijuana to start with," Mr Hardcastle said.

The court heard the offender moved to Charleville at 19 and was in a relationship with a previous partner for three years.

"It was in that relationship, he became involved in using more serious drugs such as ice," Mr Hardcastle told the court.

He then entered into a new relationship, who would be the victim in these matters before the court.

Mr Hardcastle said the offender wants to be a roofer on the Gold Coast when he is released from prison.

Judge Burnett referred to the offender's previous probation where he failed to attend psychiatric services and other programs prescribed by the order.

"Ultimately your response to supervision has been unsatisfactory," he said.

The defendant pleaded guilty to all his indictments and summary charges and was given two years and three months imprisonment, a three year driving disqualification, and a recorded conviction.

He has already served 241 days of pre-sentence custody and was given an immediate opportunity for parole.

"You breach your parole, there's no coming back to court - there's no talking to counsellors or asking a judge to extend leniency," Judge Burnett said.

"They'll just take you straight back into custody.

"Ultimately, the ball is in your court. If you want to go back to jail and commit more offences like this, the sentences will be longer and longer."

*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.    

Charleville Western Times

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