Grafton man bashes father-in-law in front of daughter

A GRAFTON Local Court magistrate laid down more than the law when she sentenced a Grafton man facing a domestic violence related assault charge this week.

Magistrate Robyn Denes sentenced the man to a nine-month good behaviour bond for a drunken assault on his father-in-law in his home, while his young daughter was present*.

Before she handed down the sentence, Ms Denes launched a stinging critique of the man's actions and the evidence he presented to the court.

She told him she would ignore any account he provided of the assault as he was clearly so drunk at the time he would not be able to remember what happened.

"You were so intoxicated when police arrived, they decided you would not be able to take part in an interview," she said.

"For that reason, I will be taking the police version of events."

The defence also made submissions the man had no history of violence, adored his daughter and this was a first offence.

But Ms Denes was having none of this.

"References don't carry a lot of weight in domestic violence matters," she said.

"Because it happens behind closed doors, people are not aware of what you are like at home."

She also questioned the man, whose work takes him away from home, about his heavy drinking.

"You say you adore your daughter, surely it would be better for your relationship if you spent your precious time with her instead of getting on the grog," she said.

She described the attack in front of his daughter as a huge breach of trust.

"Don't be surprised if she becomes fearful when you're drinking," Ms Denes said.

"She would think if he can hit grandad, he may also be able to hit me.

"Put yourself in the mind of a young person."

* Although there is no prohibition on identifying those involved, The Daily Examiner will not name those involved to protect the identity of the young girl who was present at the time as well as the victim.



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