Ex-partner choked until face turned blue
A DOMESTIC violence offender has been jailed for three years after he held his former partner in the air and choked her until she saw spots and her face turned blue due to a lack of oxygen.
The 23-year-old, who cannot be named due to legal reasons, pleaded guilty in Rockhampton District Court on December 7 to two counts of contravening a domestic violence order, and one count each of choking, serious assault of a police officer and wilful damage (domestic violence offence).
Crown prosecutor Elise Sargent said the victim shared an 18-month-old son with the defendant and the pair had been in an on-again, off-again relationship but had separated in November 2019.
Ms Sargent said the victim and defendant had lived together for about six months and used a white bar fridge that used to belong to the defendant's grandfather.
She said the defendant had been meaning to collect the fridge and learnt the victim had given it to another person.
The court heard the victim drove with a witness to the person's house in South Rockhampton about midday on February 21 to inspect a vehicle for sale.
While the victim was speaking to the witness, who remained in the car with his daughter and the victim's son, she heard the defendant ask, "Where is my fridge?".
The victim turned around and saw the defendant walking towards her, with his sister and friend nearby.
The victim asked the defendant "what fridge?", while picking up the white bar fridge from the shed at the house.
The defendant grabbed the victim and threw her to the ground near the car, causing the door on the fridge to break and fall off.
The defendant passed the fridge to his sister while yelling at the victim, who picked up the broken fridge door and put it in the witness' car, telling the defendant he wasn't having it.
The defendant then ran at the victim, knocking her to the ground, before picking her up and putting her in a choke hold, squeezing her neck with his right arm.
He then lifted her off the ground and choked her for about 20 seconds.
Ms Sargent said the victim couldn't breathe.
"She started to see spots and her face turned blue," she said.
She said the defendant released his grip around the victim's neck after hearing his sister call for him to stop.
The victim then picked up a pole and told the defendant she would hit him if he went near her.
The defendant ran at her a second time and disarmed her after she swung at his leg.
He pushed her to the ground and dug his elbow into her chest and punched her in the face.
She tried to lunge towards the pole, but the defendant pulled her legs out from underneath her.
She ran towards the witness, but the defendant threw the pole and hit her in the back.
Once the victim had locked herself inside the witness' car, the defendant damaged the car with the pole, causing the children in the back to start crying.
As the victim and witness drove away, the defendant shouted, "Get back here b---- I am going to bash you".
Ms Sargent said the victim had suffered bruising and abrasions, as well as nightmares and was too scared to leave her home.
She said the defendant was found a short time later and told police he had attended the house to talk to the residents about his fridge being there and didn't expect the victim to be there.
She said he told police they argued about the ownership of the fridge and the victim had picked up the pole and hit him with it.
She said in his version he painted the victim as the aggressor and claimed his actions were in self-defence.
She said he also claimed to have choked the victim for no more than three seconds.
The court heard police were called to reports of a disturbance at a home in Rockhampton on May 8 and found the defendant and victim, who both denied there was a disturbance.
The defendant told police he was aware he was in breach of a temporary protection order but said he had gone to the home to celebrate his son's first birthday.
The defendant refused to leave the home and attempted to barricade himself inside.
After police made multiple attempts to enter the home, the defendant ran through a screen door and tried to jump the balcony railing.
QUEENSLAND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES
Police caught up to the defendant, who attempted to strike an officer and was handcuffed after the struggle.
Ms Sargent said the defendant's offending, particularly on February 21, represented an escalation of violence perpetrated upon the victim.
She said he was also subjected to a probation order and suspended sentence at the time of the offending.
Barrister Maree Willey said her client's relationship with the victim was volatile, with cross orders in place.
Ms Willey said according to her client, the victim was more heavily involved in the way of throwing punches and attempting to strike him with the pole.
She said her client went to the address that day to collect his fridge that had belonged to his deceased grandfather and wasn't aware the victim would be there.
She said her client became angry when he saw the witness there with the victim.
"He and the witness had been friends for a long time, and he felt betrayed by that," she said.
She said her client started using methamphetamine after his grandfather's passing in 2016 but had abstained once he commenced his relationship with the victim.
Judge Jeff Clarke said it was concerning for a young person to have such a serious history for contravening domestic violence orders.
Judge Clarke said choking was a very serious offence.
"You can take someone's life and it must be terrifying for the person who is unable to breathe," he said.
"Resorting to any form of controlling behaviour is horrible enough but to perpetrate an offence such as this is very serious."
He sentenced the defendant to three years' prison, declared 215 days pre-sentence custody and set a parole release as of March 1, 2021.
Criminal convictions were recorded.