A BENDIGO drug trafficker threatened to kill his partner with a sawn-off shotgun before choking her and burning her hair with a lighter, a court has heard.
The 28-year-old man appeared in the County Court on Thursday where he pleaded guilty to nine indictable offences including conduct endangering life, intentionally causing injury, and trafficking methamphetamine.
He also pleaded guilty to six summary offences including unlawful assault.
Read more court: Bendigo drink-driver pleads guilty to refusing to comply with police
The court heard the man had been in a relationship with the victim for about two years before she fled Bendigo in September 2019 to get away from him.
She was back staying with a friend at an East Bendigo property on February 29 last year
About 9.30pm that day, the woman received a call from the 28-year-old man where he demanded she come to the front door to let him in.
She went to the front door and he verbally abused her about cheating on him, before pointing a sawn-off firearm at her face and telling her he would "f*** her life".
The woman got onto her knees and held out her hands in front of her face in an attempt to block the gun.
The man told the victim that a bullet would go through her hands if he fired it. The court heard the woman believed the man was going to kill her.
The man then told the woman that she would be leaving with him. Shortly after midnight, the man concealed the firearm in his pants before driving the woman to his property in Marong.
The court heard the woman was so scared that she considered jumping out of the vehicle while it was moving to get away from him.
When they arrived at the property, they went to a bedroom and the man told the woman he would not hurt her if she told him the truth.
The woman said she was telling the truth and he jumped on top of her on the bed and tried to place his hands around her neck.
Read more court: Bendigo learner driver loses licence after 'moronic' offending
The woman tried to fight him off but he grabbed her in a headlock and said he would strangle and kill her.
The woman was struggling to breathe but managed to push him back.
The woman lost consciousness for about 30 seconds before she awoke and scurried to a corner of the room, where she begged the man to leave her alone.
The man picked her up and threw her back onto the bed.
He punched her twice to the right eye area and her nose started to bleed. The man grabbed a washcloth so the blood would not fall onto his bed.
The court heard the man then sat in the room staring at a television monitor, which showed CCTV footage of the area surrounding the house.
At one point in the next hour, the man grabbed a butane lighter, stood over the woman, and started to burn the end of her hair. She was afraid to move in case the man lit her head on fire.
The man noticed that a vehicle appeared on the CCTV footage and became paranoid that the neighbours had called the police.
The man forced the woman back into his vehicle and returned her to the East Bendigo area. He told the woman that if she told police about the assault he would hurt her.
The court heard the woman had bruises all over her body, her hair was singed, and she was in shock.
The woman reported the incident to the police on March 12 and a full family violence intervention order was issued.
Police went to the man's Marong property on April 7 and executed a search warrant.
Officers arrested the man and found about 111.72 grams of methamphetamine with a street value of about $50,000.
Police also found 10.7 grams of MDMA, 4.7 grams of heroin, a loaded sawn-off rifle, ammunition, and $21,400 in cash.
Defence counsel William Barker told the court the man grew up around family violence at the hands of his own father.
Mr Barker said his client was also moved in and out of foster care homes where he continued to be abused.
The defence counsel said while the traumatic upbringing did not justify the violent family violence incident, it did provide context to the offending.
Mr Barker said the man had already served 563 days of pre-sentence detention and he entered a guilty plea at a "fairly early" opportunity.
Judge Mark Dean noted some of the submitted reports referred to the man's Aboriginal heritage, although there was limited material on the subject before the court.
The case was adjourned so more information could be obtained. The 28-year-old is due to return to the County Court next month for a further plea hearing.
If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence, the Centre for Non-Violence is available on 1800 884 292. Safe Steps is a 24-hour statewide crisis line, available on 1800 015 188.
If you or someone else is in danger, call 000.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: