Man swings Christmas tree in domestic bashing

A MAN is at risk of being deported after he bashed his estranged wife with an electric fan until it broke, then struck her with a Christmas tree in a fit of festive season rage.

The man’s teenage daughter also got caught up in the violence when she tried to come to her mother’s aid.

In the end, a neighbour was forced to intervene.

Appearing from jail via video-link before Ipswich District Court, the 69-year-old man, who cannot be named, pleaded guilty to serious domestic violence offences of assault causing bodily harm when armed on November 22 last year; as well as three charges of assault; and choking.

Details of what triggered the incident were not disclosed in court, with Crown prosecutor Amanda Robinson saying only that there had been a verbal argument in the lead-up.

The man, then aged 68, swung at his former wife, then aged 52.

“He choked her, her breathing became laboured,” Ms Robinson said.

“He threw her to the ground, and struck her with force with the fan until it broke.

“He struck her with the Christmas tree.”

The woman suffered cuts to her head that required glue to close, and stitches were required to treat a wrist injury.

Ms Robinson said the man had since spent 255 days in jail, awaiting sentence.

She tended photos of the woman’s injuries.

Defence barrister Cecelia Bernardin said her client had been co-operative and had no previous offending.

“He instructs that from 2011 his relationship with his wife deteriorated and that he struggled regulating his anger,” Ms Bernardin said.

“He had been advised to remove himself at those times but unfortunately he didn’t.”

It was also acknowledged that he did not stop the assault when his daughter intervened, and only stopped when a neighbour got involved.

Judge Tony Moynihan said he had read the Crown facts and the man had not challenged these.

“In very short summary you were violent to a 52-year-old woman, your estranged partner, and 16-year-old daughter,” Judge Moynihan said.

“There was an argument and your daughter intervenes.

“It escalates to a point where you choked your ex-partner and then you threw her to the ground and struck her five or six times with a fan.

“You are a mature man with no history, a Samoan national, a citizen of New Zealand, and you are at real risk to be deported upon release from prison.”

Judge Moynihan sentenced the man to a three-year jail term, and with lesser concurrent sentences of 18-months, and six months.

He ordered for the sentence to be suspended after he serves 10 months.

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