A MAN who committed an “utterly disgraceful” act of family violence against his ex-partner in a central Victorian town has been released on the day of his sentencing after serving 585 days in custody.
The Melbourne man in his 40s, not identified to protect the victim’s identity, was sentenced in the County Court in Melbourne this week.
He persistently violated a family violence intervention order, including one instance in 2016 when he attacked his ex-partner in front of their children after breaking in to her house in the early hours of the morning.
He kicked the woman’s bedroom door open after she barricaded herself inside, and then pushed her to the floor and kicked her.
The man also threw a backpack at her, took her phone and yelled at her that “if I can’t have my kids, I’ll make sure you can’t”.
He then strangled the woman on her bed and threw items at her as she attempted to call police.
He also swallowed a weeks’ worth of anti-depressant medication and repeatedly threatened to kill himself.
The man fled through a window when police arrived.
The woman suffered bruising to her leg, eye and cheek.
He later violated the intervention order by sending letters to the woman, claiming his offending was because of “the drugs”.
The court heard he had developed an ice habit and was a regular user of the psychoactive drug GHB.
When arrested, he blamed his ex-partner for the attack.
She has developed post-traumatic stress disorder following the attack, as well as panic attacks, lack of sleep, lack of trust and security, and hyper-vigilance.
Judge Frank Gucciardo was scornful of the man’s actions, and said family violence was an ongoing scourge on the community and the courts.
“The effect of domestic violence is profound and long-lasting,” he said.
“The community has come to appreciate the trauma and damage it causes.
“Those who are protected persons must receive protection from the court.”
The man has a history of violent offending, but this was the first time he has been in custody. He has been sentenced in the past for serious driving and dishonesty offences, assault, making threats and drug possession.
His defence counsel described the attack on the woman as “utterly disgraceful”, but the man had expressed remorse since.
Judge Gucciardo said the man had to recognise that drugs had “blighted your life”, and he must abstain in the future.
The man was sentenced to 12-months prison, already served, with a two-year community corrections order and 150 hours of unpaid community work.