Dad's 'shocking' abuse on family terrified children
AN ANGRY dad beat his wife also hit his young daughter in the groin with a walking stick, after the child tried to put a stop to the violence.
An Ipswich magistrate labelled the man's attacks on his family members as "shocking" in court earlier this month.
The dad, who has a history of violence against his wife, is now in jail for assaulting her but was brought before Ipswich Magistrates Court charged with the assault causing bodily harm to his nine-year-old daughter.
The man, 34, pleaded guilty to two counts of assault causing bodily harm when armed; three counts of contravening release conditions; contravening a domestic violence protection order; causing public nuisance; and obstructing police.
The serious offences were prosecuted by Ellen Howard for the Director of Public Prosecutions, and the remainder by police prosecutor Bronson Ballard.
Ms Howard said the man had a history of breaching court orders and in February was sentenced for assaults on his former partner.
To put his offences in context, Ms Howard outlined to Magistrate Louisa Pink the man's verbal and physical abuse of his wife, including punching her in the eye and face with a closed fist.
Ms Howard said one of the man's children hit him with a fly swat after he called his wife a dog, spat on her, punched her in the jaw and struck her with the walking stick.
The man had put his hand around his wife's neck and began to strangle her with the frightened children hiding under a bed screaming.
One child rang their uncle for help and police were called to the family home.
Ms Howard said the man was sentenced in the District Court to 18 months jail - to serve four months - for the assaults on his wife.
The girl who was struck with the walking stick fell to the floor in pain, her injury bleeding and causing swelling and bruising.
The man then struck his wife in the face with a phone charger causing bruises.
The DPP sought a 20-month jail sentence - an extension of two months to his 18-month sentence.
Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said the man had some mental health issues and suffered post-traumatic stress after witnessing a fatal accident.
"Arguably the assaults on her (the wife) were more serious," he said.
But Ms Pink queried that, saying he had committed violence to a child.
"Your conduct and assaults causing bodily harm are serious," Ms Pink said to the man.
"It involved your nine-year-old daughter because she hit you with a fly swat.
"You hit her with a walking stick to her groin.
"It's shocking behaviour by a parent to a nine-year-old child."
Ms Pink said the man had hit his wife on the side of her head with the walking stick and began to choke her and the children had been scared.
She said he also tried to influence his wife to drop the charges and called her despicable things.
"It seems you weren't really deterred at all by the court orders and have previous convictions for breaches of domestic violence orders," she said.
Ms Pink took into account the 18-month jail term imposed by the District Court for his offences from the same day with parole release after he serves four months.
She said it was unfortunate that the matters had not been dealt with at the same time.
Ms Pink sentenced him to 20 months jail and to lesser jail terms, all served concurrent.
His June 11 parole release date was not changed.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE FACING ABUSE
- Ensure safety of yourself and children and pets when deciding whether or not to stay in the abusive relationship.
- Work with an agency on a safety plan.
- There are plans that help you when you're committed to staying; thinking about leaving; planning to leave; and have left.
- Remember risk and danger are dynamic - they move up and down.
- You need to form a relationship with a professional to help you regularly review your safety plan and review risks.
SUPPORT FOR MALE FAMILY VIOLENCE SURVIVORS
- MensLine (1800 600 636) provides support for men in domestic violence crisis.
- Mensline links male survivors with the same support services offered to women, including emergency accommodation, counselling and legal.
- Crisis accommodation services for men and their children are funded under the Queensland Government's Homelessness Program.
- Support services are available at all Queensland courts for male survivors.
- Male survivors can also access support from regionally based domestic and family violence support services.
- Men can also phone DVConnect on 1800 811 811 or the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.
- Source: Queensland Government, MensLine