Dad battered girl

AN IPSWICH man took a 14-year-old girl to bushland, got her drunk on cask wine and stomped on her head while threatening to kill her.

Steven Bennett, 36, was concerned the teen, who lived next door to him, was leading his 11-year-old daughter astray, and decided to take matters into his own hands.

Bennett went and bought some wine from a pub at Goodna at 11pm on January 8, before taking the teen to bushland at Carole Park.

There he plied the girl with wine and got her drunk, stomped on her head and stomach and threatened to slit her throat.

The terrified teen phoned 000 at 1.20am and was treated for facial bruising.

Bennett was charged with common assault and pleaded guilty at Ipswich Magistrates Court yesterday.

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess was shocked Bennett had not been charged with a more serious offence.

"I stress I am only sentencing you for the offence of common assault - (but) this is a very serious example of the charge," Ms Sturgess said.

"You exploded into irrational violence (because) you blamed the victim for leading your 11-year-old daughter astray.

"Put yourself in the shoes of a parent about how you would feel if a 36-year-old man plied your daughter with alcohol. It is appalling behaviour - prison is the only appropriate sentence."

Ms Sturgess said it was surprising the victim's mother had provided a reference on behalf of Bennett, saying he was a devoted father but was unpredictable when he drank alcohol.

Defence lawyer Yassar Khan said Bennett acknowledged his behaviour could get out of control when he drank alcohol, so had chosen to abstain in recent times.

Mr Khan said Bennett, a father of three, had had an abusive upbringing at the hands of his father but was employed full time and was genuinely remorseful for his actions. Bennett was sentenced to six months prison and released on immediate parole.



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