DV offender sentenced by phone while sitting in car
FLU-like symptoms meant a man was barred from entering the Ipswich Courthouse for sentence by a judge because of COVID-19 health precautions.
Instead, in agreement with the judge and Crown prosecution, the man was able to sit in his parked car outside the court and be sentenced over his mobile phone for domestic violence offences, relating to a drunken argument over a dog.
Judge Dennis Lynch QC was told the man had driven five hours early that morning from near Gympie to attend court for his sentence over the three-year-old charges.
But the man was barred from entering the court building because of his apparent ill health.
Coming through loud and clear from his car, the 32-year old man pleaded guilty to three domestic violence offences – assaults doing bodily harm to a woman in North Ipswich on August 19, 2017; causing wilful damage to a car; and contravening a domestic violence protection order.
The man said he understood the reason he had been excluded from the courthouse was due to court health protocol.
Crown prosecutor Victoria Adams tended photos of the woman’s injuries and of damage the man did to her Holden Commodore.
The offences occurred during an argument with his former partner in front of children about his drinking alcohol when she drove to pick him up.
There was an argument at the house and he trapped her between a gate and the car, pushed her away with his hand on her face before pushing the gate into her.
She suffered bruises.
The woman locked herself in the house and he yelled at her to come down while threatening “to break stuff”.
Ms Adams said he kicked and struck the woman’s Commodore causing $749 damage.
He had prior convictions and the Crown sought a jail penalty of between 12 and 18 months, with it open for the judge to suspend it or impose immediate parole.
Defence barrister Geoffrey Seaholme said the father-of-three had struggled with civilian life after leaving the army although he had not been in active service overseas.
“(He) says he is very sorry for his conduct and has taken steps with counselling,” Mr Seaholme said.
He sought for immediate suspension of the sentence imposed.
Judge Lynch said the man had been intoxicated that day with an argument occurring when he wanted to take the dog with him.
During the argument he put his hand on the woman’s face and pushed the gate into her causing bruises to her face, torso and ribs.
Judge Lynch said the man demanded she come out from the house then “vented” his frustration by doing damage to her car estimated at between $749 and $1200.
Found by police soon after with injuries to his knuckles, he told officers that he punched a pole.
Judge Lynch said the significant delay in the case was due to him failing to appear at court and a warrant had been issued for his arrest.
He was convicted and sentenced to 12-months jail, immediately suspended for two years.