Head split open in shovel attack

A HERVEY Bay man has been jailed for a "chilling and brutal" home invasion in which he attacked his girlfriend and her mother with a shovel, splitting the younger woman's head open.

Jay Benjamin Geoffrey Wilcock, 30, was "wielding the shovel like a baseball bat" before striking his 22-year-old girlfriend in the head, splitting the skin down to the bone, and fracturing her arm.

Wilcock, who had a decade-long record of violent behaviour, will remain behind bars until at least October 2013, after pleading guilty yesterday to seven offences, including two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm while armed, in the Hervey Bay District Court.

The court heard that Wilcock drunkenly broke into the women's Urangan home, where he'd been staying, in the early hours of December 5, 2011. He called his partner various names before punching her in the face. He then punched her mother, 48, twice in the temple.

In a bid to protect her mum, the woman pushed him to the ground and tried to restrain him, but he bit her on the arm. She then threw him out, so he returned armed with a shovel from the garden shed. He struck her on the back of the head, leaving her in need of five stitches.

Judge Leanne Clare described the attack as "cowardly and brutal" and a "chilling display of rage".

Wilcock chased his partner and her mother from the home and into the yard of a neighbour, where he cornered them and continued to strike out with the shovel.

The younger woman bravely used her body to shield her mother and tried to block the shovel, which in turn broke her arm.

"As she stood there, cornered and unarmed and terrified, you struck her again," Judge Clare said to Wilcock.

The reason given for Wilcock's rage was that his girlfriend had earlier showed up in her pyjamas at the pub where he was drinking with a friend and asked him to come home.

"There can be no justification for terrorising another person," Judge Clare told Wilcock.

"There can be no justification for the terror you inflicted that night."

Wilcock, who remains in contact with his victim, was sentenced to a total of four years in jail.

He was already on parole when the offences occurred, after being released from prison for breaking another woman's collarbone.

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