'Alcohol trance': Man can't remember violent attack on ex
A MAN hit his former partner with a shovel, threatened to kill her and squeezed her throat at her Bowen home.
The 44-year-old Bowen man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty in Bowen Magistrates Court on September 17 to assault occasioning bodily harm while armed in a domestic violence situation, wilful damage in a domestic violence situation, two charges of contravening a domestic violence order and drink-driving while over the middle alcohol limit.
The court heard the attack on August 7 started when the man arrived at the woman's house drunk, and started yelling abuse at her children.
The children locked the doors and refused to let the man inside.
When the woman arrived home a short time later she found the man in her backyard.
He grabbed a water bottle from her hand and threw it at her before hitting her on the back with a shovel.
The man then tore the home's front security door from its frame in an attempt to gain access to the children.
The court was told he shoulder-charged the woman, knocking her to the ground.
After she got up, he again pushed her to the ground, before grabbing her by her clothes and pulling her around, and then grabbing her head and throwing it into the ground and kicking her in the knee.
The court was told during the assault, the man said "I'm going to kill you” several times.
While she was on her back on the ground, the man sat on her chest and placed his hand on her neck, while holding his fist over her and threatening to hit her.
This continued for about 30 seconds until the woman's children came outside to help.
He continued to struggle with two of the children until police arrived.
In a statement read to the court by police prosecutor Sergeant Emma Myors, the man's former partner said she was scared of what would happen to her in the attack.
She said as her partner's grip tightened on her neck during the attack she tried yelling, but couldn't.
"I feared for my life,” she said.
"I've never been that scared. I don't know what would happen if police didn't come.”
As she called for a prison sentence, Sgt Myors said the woman's three children were also affected by the attack.
It was not the first time the man had contravened a domestic violence order on his former partner.
The court heard on July 26, police were patrolling the streets after being called about a domestic violence incident where the man had threatened to drive into the woman's home.
They were flagged down by the man who was out driving. He told them police were after him because of what he had done at home.
The court heard the man told police that after an argument with his then partner, he "lost it” when he was locked outside.
When breath tested by police the man recorded a blood alcohol concentration of 0.137.
Solicitor Peta Vernon said her client, who had been in a relationship with the woman for two-and-a-half years, had a serious problem with alcohol, which started after his father died when he was 21.
She told the court the man remembered part of the July incident but did not remember anything of the more serious August incident, saying he was in an "alcohol trance”.
"All he remembers is coming to with pain in his thumb which had been dislocated,” she said.
When he appeared in court by video from prison on Tuesday, he had already spent 41 days in custody, and magistrate James Morton ordered him to spend an extra night in prison while he decided on an appropriate sentence overnight.
On Wednesday, Mr Morton sentenced the man to a total of 12 months in prison, however ruled that all bar the 42 days in custody be suspended for two years.
He also fined him $750 for drink-driving and disqualified his licence for seven months.