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Man gets jail time for letting drunk girlfriend stay

Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer
Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer

A GLADSTONE man who opened his door to his drunk girlfriend at 3am and let her stay the night has received a term of imprisonment.

The man pleaded guilty to one count of an aggravated breach of a domestic violence order at the Gladstone Magistrates Court.

Police prosecutor Gavin Reece said on May 11 the aggrieved arrived at the defendant's house intoxicated.

The defendant allowed her to come in and stay the night, despite the conditions of domestic violence protection order that the aggrieved had against the defendant banning any contact between the pair.

Mr Reece said at 8.50am the same morning, police arrived at the defendants house for an unrelated matter.

When police asked if there was anybody at the house, the defendant initially said no.

He was arrested at 9.30 for the unrelated matter and taken back to the police station.

During an interview he admitted to police that the aggrieved was still at his house.

He told the officers that he thought the order only banned him from seeking out the aggrieved, and not the other way around.

Defence lawyer Matthew Heelan said it was a technical breach of the order, and said it was a "trivial matter" facing the court.

"My client is illiterate, and was confused about the order," Mr Heelan said.

"The aggrieved approached him, drunk in the early hours of the morning, my client didn't realise it was going to be a breach.

"It is trivial because he did not seek her out, she sought him out ... And the fact that he has a serious criminal history which includes assault and grievous bodily harm charges with the same aggrieved.

The court heard the man was already on a suspended jail term for previous offending, meaning the latest offending was a breach of his probation.

"But we are here today for the most recent offending," Mr Heelan said.

Visiting Gladstone Magistrate Neil Lavaring said he could not ignore that the man was on a suspended jail sentence, no matter how "trivial" the matter was.

However, Mr Heelan said it was in the court's right to "not do anything" if it was unjust to do so.

Mr Lavaring activated the suspended sentence, and ordered the man to serve four months on parole.

"Unfortunately, your history is a major problem for you," Mr Lavaring told the defendant.

He said if he breached the order, or committed any offences while on parole, it was likely he would spend time behind bars.

Topics:  court editors picks gladstone jail


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