A central Victorian man who avoided a jury trial by pleading guilty to violent offences against a woman was brought back to court today for a further plea.
The man had been in court on seven different occasions for similar offending, and Judge Dean asked the man's barrister, Scott Davis, why he offended against defenseless women.
"He's dangerous your client," Judge Dean said. "Dangerous to women he's associated with.
"He has to be punished."
The judge said the man had offended against another victim around the same time, and was jailed for that, but he was released on bail and was on a community corrections order and a family violence order, then about three days later attacked another victim, which saw him brought back to court.
There was some confusion about the timeline of the man's prior offending.
Judge Dean said the offender had strangled the victim and punched her 10-20 times, inflicting shocking facial injuries. The woman's rib was broken, and she had to have surgical intervention.
Judge Dean said the man left the woman in a "shockingly injured condition" and then for unknown reasons returned to her parents' house and damaged the victim's car knowing she was injured, which was shocking.
His defence barrister Scott Davis said "it's gotten worse".
"This is a serious example of intentionally causing injury," Prosecutor Dave Cordy said.
The court heard from the man's barrister about his life which was riddled with death, mental illness and violence.
Mr Davis said the offender never recovered from an accident in his garage that killed his friend, and his client had been depressed since the incident.
Mr Davis also said the man's brother and a different friend had died by suicide.
The court heard about an explosion that occurred in the offender's garage that put him in a coma for three days and burnt his throat and lungs.
Mr Davis said the man "suffered war-like post-traumatic stress disorder", but struggled to explain his client's violent behaviour against women or how his childhood and life events contributed to his offending.
"It's clear he has a poor history is post-relationship violence - there's no denying that Your Honour," Mr Davis said.
"His dreadful behaviour occurs in crisis situations.
"He has a predisposition to behave in a dreadful fashion."
Mr Davis said the man was "extremely ashamed and distressed" about his actions.
He said the man "teared up a little" regarding the injuries he inflicted on the victim.
Mr Davis said the man's mental health was poor and he experienced border line personality disorder resulting in paranoia and improper behaviour, and that was his excuse.
His lawyer said there were some issues of alcohol abuse and he was a "heavy consumer", and there were "serious attempts of self-harm while he's been in custody".
The court heard the offender had experienced his own mental health issues following the deaths of his brother and friend.
Judge Dean said "excuse" wasn't the right word and that "explanation" was more appropriate.
The court heard the man was medicated with an anti-psychotic and was being treated for mental health issues.
Mr Davis said the man spent most of his time in prison working in the library, and had completed some courses for prisoners.
The man keeps in regular contact with his family from prison, including his children.
Mr Davis said his family, particularly his children, had been negatively affected by his actions.
Judge Dean said this was what family violence did.
"It undermines a healthy society," he said.
Judge Dean said the man had caused psychological and physical harm to the victim, both his family and the victim's family, and the community.
Mr Davis said his client still pleaded guilty - although late - and his assaults weren't planned or with a weapon.
He said the man told him he couldn't remember the night of the incident, he has "extreme regret and remorse".
Mr Davis said his client needed to be supervised upon his release.
Judge Dean said he had cases where he imposed nine-year sentences for first-time offenders who committed domestic violence crimes.
The man was ordered to remain in custody until his further plea on April 8.
If you or someone you know is experiencing family and domestic violence, help is available, contact:
If a life is in danger, call Triple Zero (000).
For mental health concerns, call Lifeline - 13 11 14.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.