'Utterly disgraceful': Man's attack on partner in central Victoria turned her world upside down, court hears

A CENTRAL Victorian woman who was strangled, kicked and punched by her ex-partner in front of their children has told a court the attack turned her world upside down.

Her attacker, a Melbourne man in his 40s who has not been named to protect the victim’s identity, pleaded guilty in the Bendigo County Court on Wednesday to assault, intentionally causing injury, criminal damage and other charges.

The woman read out her victim impact statement to the court, detailing her struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety.

“I constantly need to check and double check that the windows and doors are locked,” she said.

“I remain uncertain at how long it would take to fully move on from it.”

The attack occurred in May last year when her ex-partner, and father of their children, arrived at her house in the early hours of the morning in violation of a family violence intervention order.

He knocked on the woman’s window repeatedly before he eventually left, only to return later in the day when he broke into the house.

The woman came face-to-face with the man in her laundry. He refused to leave and demanded an explanation as to why she left him.

The court heard the man “went from remorseful to apologetic to aggressive” towards the woman, and he threatened to kick her out of her own home.

When the woman called police, the man kicked a hole in her bedroom door.

He then pushed the woman to the ground and kicked her leg, threw a backpack at her and took her phone away.

He told her he would “ruin” her life before throwing her onto a bed, causing it to break.

The man strangled the woman with both hands while shouting “say you love me” at her – a statement he repeated throughout the ordeal.

He then threatened to take his own life in front of her and took seven of her anti-depressant tablets.

He fled the property when police arrived 40 minutes after the first call.

The man was arrested four days later and denied the charges during a police interview. He did not apply for bail, but continued to call the woman and send her letters while in custody.

He has been in custody for 530 days.

Defence counsel Paul Smallwood said the offending was “utterly disgraceful”, reflected in the “powerful” victim impact statement.

He said the man had since expressed remorse.

“There are some men who commit acts of domestic violence who fail to recognise the impact of their behaviour on the ones they profess to love,” Mr Smallwood said.

“The man in the dock is not one of those men.

“Of course some of the comments he made in his record of interview do not reflect well on him at all.”

He will be sentenced in December.