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Man punches wife in face, walks from court with fine

THE well-dressed man appeared humble sitting beside his solicitor in court as the facts of his offending were read out.

His behaviour, which would later be described as "odd", was blamed on stressors in his life - loss of a job due to falling commodity prices but no medical or mental health issues.

The Toowoomba Magistrates Court heard the man - who cannot be named to protect the identify of his victim - was subject to a domestic violence order from March last year.

But he breached that court order when his wife - and victim - heard a "large crashing noise" inside her home and a large hole appeared in a wall, and the man emerged from a car.

The man then punched his wife in the face with a "closed fist" as she stood at the top of the stairs after investigating the source of the noise.

When police caught up with the man a short time later, he refused an interview and was taken to the watch house.

In an unrelated offence on December 8 last year, the man was found trespassing in the front yard of a Seppelt St home.

By chance, police were nearby as a woman and young child in the front yard watched the man walk to the rear of the property.

The man did not live or reside at the property, and he was arrested.

Is domestic violence a problem in Toowoomba?

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His behaviour on the two occasions was described as "odd" by Magistrate Kay Ryan presiding over the man's guilty pleas to one count each of contravene a domestic violence order and trespass.

Duty solicitor Phil Stainton submitted a fine was appropriate for his client who he told the court had a job lined up in resource-rich Western Australia.

Mr Stainton said his client had worked on oil rigs but lost his job due to falling commodity prices, and hadn't been able to find work due to strict bail reporting conditions.

But with a capacity to "earn a good wage" in Western Australia, Mr Stainton said fines would be appropriate for the offences.

Magistrate Ryan admonished the man for his actions, telling him violence in the community was never tolerated, but especially domestic violence related offences.

"Both incidences seem to be quite odd," she said.

"Odd, in the sense your behaviour doesn't make a lot of sense.

"The breach of domestic violence is serious (as it) involves an act of actual violence.

"Such violence is not condoned by anyone."

Magistrate Ryan said while community-based orders were generally handed down for breaching domestic violence orders, she accepted submissions he wouldn't be able to meet the obligations if working in Western Australia.

She noted a "dated" breach of domestic violence offence on his criminal history, and reminded him that disturbing reports of violence against partners had been at the "forefront of the news all the time".

She referenced the landmark Not Now Not Ever report compiled by Dame Quentin Bryce.

The man was given one fine of $1500, referred to the State Penalities Enforcement Registry, for both offences and had convictions recorded against him.

"If you appear again in court, you will not be getting fines," Magistrate Ryan said.

The man was met by a woman as he walked from the courtroom.

For 24-hour support in Queensland phone DVConnect on 1800 811 811, MensLine on 1800 600 636 or the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.
 

Topics:  domestic violence editors picks not now not ever toowoomba toowoomba crime toowoomba magistrates court


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