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Woman 'ran for life' as partner tried to 'set' her on 'fire'

Peter Mark Wright is accused of a long list of violent acts against a young mother-of-five.
Peter Mark Wright is accused of a long list of violent acts against a young mother-of-five. Artem Furman/Thinkstock

A MAN allegedly 'forced' his partner to take drugs, 'bashed' her pregnant stomach with a hammer, 'disfigured' her with caustic soda, 'broke' her jaw, 'kidnapped' her, 'slashed her head with a machete' and tried to 'set her on fire' during a five-year reign of "physical and psychological terror".

The list of violent allegations against Peter Mark Wright was so long, it took a prosecutor about 30 minutes to detail them to a Brisbane District Court jury on Wednesday.

Mr Wright pleaded not guilty to the offences that are said to have occurred from 2010-2015 in Brisbane, Bundaberg and Gin Gin. 

The heavily-built man did not stop watching his alleged victim while she gave evidence on videolink before Judge Terry Martin and a large number of the defendant's relatives. 

The 25-year-old woman said he was "controlling" and "disrespectful" from the start of their relationship in 2010 when she lived in Caboolture and he resided in Ipswich. 

The mother of five cried as she relived a series of increasingly "violent" acts, while explaining she often used drugs with him 

"Sometimes I used them voluntarily, but he would also pressure me into taking the drugs," she said. 

One of the most terrifying moments, she said, was when her former partner allegedly doused her in petrol and tried to set her on fire. 

The only reason she was not harmed was because the lighter would not "spark," the woman said. 

"He was yelling 'I'll light you up, I'll f---ing light you up'. 

"I just ran - I dropped everything and ran. 

The woman sought refuge with a neighbour but he was "three steps" behind and when he caught up he allegedly choked her, repeatedly headbutted her and tried to stab her with a knife. 

The neighbour helped hold him back as she went, fully clothed, into the shower to wash the petrol off. 

"I was scared, I was in pain, my head was sore, my ribs were sore, my skin was on fire from the petrol," she told the court. 

The court also heard the man allegedly pinned the woman in their car before he smashed her ribs with a hammer.

She was eight months pregnant with their son. 

"He said 'You're not going anywhere'," the woman said. 

"I was squished up against the door and he had a clear shot of my ribcage. 

"He hit me at least twice - it was two very hard hits. 

"I couldn't lift my arm for nine weeks (afterwards) and when I inhaled it was like something was pinching inside my ribcage." 

The 36-year-old is also accused of taking the woman into the bush near Bundaberg, tying her to a tree with zip-ties and tipping caustic soda over her. 

She was left with severe chemical burn scars on her legs and stomach, the jury heard. 

Mr Wright is also alleged to have kidnapped the woman before taking her to a friend's property at Gin Gin where he "taped her to a chair" and allegedly assaulted her multiple times, only stopping when police showed up.

He is also accused of king-hitting her "to shut her up", fracturing her jaw so badly that she needed extensive surgery to fix the damage.

Crown Prosecutor Sandra Cupina told the jury Mr Wright also choked the woman repeatedly, bit her nose during one alleged attack, stabbed her in the knee and threatened multiple times to kill her.

He also allegedly cut her head with a machete and threatened to "chop her feet off" with the weapon.

Ms Cupina said 18 witnesses would give evidence over eight days.

Topics:  buncourt crime kidnap violence woman


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