News

Man jailed for 'cowardly' assault on grandmother

BEHIND BARS: Rowan Geoffrey Shorter has been jailed for assaulting a grandmother and her partner at their North Ipswich home.
BEHIND BARS: Rowan Geoffrey Shorter has been jailed for assaulting a grandmother and her partner at their North Ipswich home. Contributed

A DISTRAUGHT toddler watched in horror as her dad repeatedly punched her grandmother in the head.

The incident occurred when Rowan Geoffrey Shorter made an unannounced visit to see his one-year-old daughter at the North Ipswich home of his ex-partner's mum.

When grandmother Mel Duckett noticed a smell of alcohol on Shorter, she scolded him for turning up intoxicated.

Holding his daughter in one arm, Shorter, 32, responded with a torrent of verbal abuse.

Ms Duckett took the young girl away from her father, which caused him to become angry and he punched the then 40-year-old grandmother in the right eye.

His jab was followed by a flurry of blows which hit Ms Duckett in the head as she tried to force him out of her house.

Ms Duckett's partner, John Wright, rushed to her aid and wrestled with Shorter in an effort to restrain him.

During the struggle, Shorter grabbed a broken piece of a ceramic pot and smashed it over the head of the then 44-year-old.

At Ipswich District Court this week, Shorter pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm and assault occasioning bodily harm while armed.

Crown prosecutor Matthew Le Grand said the incident had occurred on August 19, 2012.

Mr Le Grand said Ms Duckett and Mr Wright were taken to Ipswich Hospital after the attack.

Mr Wright had a 7cm cut to the right side of his forehead. Mrs Duckett suffered bruises to her face and head.

Shorter disappeared after the incident and was not located by police until January.

In a victim impact statement read in court, Ms Duckett said she would never forget the look on her granddaughter's face when Shorter landed that first blow.

"It was a traumatic experience," she said. "I never used to be frightened or intimidated by Rowan but that day changed it all.

"I now live in fear that it will happen again and no longer feel safe in my own house."

Defence barrister Scott Neaves said at the time Shorter was in the midst of a significant amphetamine addiction.

Mr Neaves said Shorten had also experienced domestic violence in his home growing up.

He said Shorten had just wanted to see his daughter and admitted that things had "got out of hand".

Judge Gregory Koppenol described the incident as an "unprovoked, cowardly and prolonged attack".

He said Shorter had a criminal history which dated back to 2000, with numerous instances of violence. Shorter was sentenced to two years jail with parole after eight months.

Topics:  assault occasioning bodily harm editors picks



BREAKING: Public safety declaration in place at Leichhardt

Police ask people to avoid the vicinity of Charlotte St.

Police ask people to avoid the vicinity of Charlotte St

Three news subscriptions and a free paper for $3 - saywhat?!

No Caption

FORGET everything you thought you knew about a great deal.

Man in custody following road and foot pursuit

Police generic.  Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily

Police followed the driver from Coominya to Toogoolawah

Local Partners

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Lisa Marie Woodham will be giving readings in Gladstone until Saturday January 21.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Chopper's Republic of Ipswich

HELLO: Chopper will perform his new show Anzakistan at the Racehorse Hotel next month.

Popular character returns

Buderim man strips off for speed dating with a twist

RAW AMBITION: Buderim local Jackson pictured with his blind date Candice in a scene from SBS's new dating show Undressed.

People have done stranger things for love

Matthew McConaughey wrongly used as medical example

Doctor tried to steal credit for McConaughey's hair treatment

J.K. Rowling writes through severe back pain

An aching back couldn't stop J.K. Rowling catching inspiration

Ipswich house prices looking up in "seller's market”

Region's median house price climbed 1.4% to $325,000 and the median unit price fell 13.8% to $235,000 in the September quarter.

Median house price climbs 1.4% to $325,000 as unit price falls 13.8%

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

Work to be done before Hungry Jack's opens

Roadworks outside the Hungry Jack's restaurant at Brassall must be completed before it opens.

Ipswich residents will have to wait for their Whoppers

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!