Man held hand over ex's mouth so she wouldn't scream

NOT everyone can afford bars on their windows and security systems in their homes.

But that doesn't mean court orders protecting them should be flouted, a Northern Rivers magistrate has said.

A Lismore man faced Lismore Local Court on Tuesday for sentencing on domestic violence offences and contravening an apprehended domestic violence order.

The court heard the man - who appeared via video link from custody - entered his former partner's home while she was sleeping.

His solicitor, Kylie Anderson-Clarke said the duo had been in a long-term relationship.

The court heard the defendant was "crying" and "attempting to cuddle" the victim.

Ms Anderson-Clarke said there were "no overt verbal threats" made by the man.

He held his hand over the woman's mouth so she wouldn't scream.

Their children were in the home at the time.

Magistrate David Heilpern said the offences were an "act of selfishness".

The defendant wept as Mr Heilpern condemned his actions, which he said "terrorised" the victim.

"I accept that the defendant has had an extraordinarily difficult childhood," Mr Heilpern said.

But despite the man's upbringing that was marred by drugs, alcohol and violence, Mr Heilpern said the woman "deserves protection from people whether or not they themselves have had an oppressive childhood."

The court heard the man had experienced "hard times" while in custody and that he was "fearful" at times.

Mr Heilpern compared this to the fear and suffering of his victim.

He sentenced the man to two years prison, backdated to March 28 this year.

He has a non-parole period of 14 months.

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