Wife beater to avoid jail time
A MAN who gave his partner two black eyes and a forehead injury after head butting her has avoided spending any time behind bars.
Pleading guilty in the Proserpine Magistrates Court on Monday, the 47-year-old was given a 12-month prison sentence, wholly suspended for two years.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Trent Voight told the court the incident had occurred on July 3, 2015, but had not been reported until July 17.
The man had arrived home late to take over care of the couple's children, leading to an argument.
"The defendant grabbed the victim by the throat and pushed her to the ground," Sgt Voight said.
The man then "grabbed her by the shoulder and head butted her".
The woman attended Proserpine Hospital for treatment.
Sgt Voight said the woman had lied to doctors, claiming "she had fallen down the stairs".
On July 27, officers spoke with the man who said he remembered arguing with the woman, but often blacked out in such situations.
Defence solicitor Barbara Mendelsohn said the man had been drinking with a friend after work, making him late home, on the night in question.
"He admits that this incident was alcohol fuelled and by his own admission has significantly reduced his alcohol consumption," she said.
Ms Mendelsohn confirmed her client suffered from blackouts and had sought counselling, handing up documentation.
Magistrate Simon Young said he would pay mind to the counselling in sentencing.
"But I do note the discrepancy that the blackouts that you mentioned are not substantiated by any form of medical reference," he said.
"So I'm going to be treating that particular subject with a particular weight."
Ms Mendelsohn also handed up letters attesting to the man's good character, including one under the hand of the man's partner asking that he not be given jail time to allow him to care for their children.
After reading the references, Magistrate Young said he would put weight behind such a submission, particularly given "the event occurred 15 months ago and no subsequent events have occurred between the parties".
"Still, it's a serious offence," he said.
Both the prosecution and the defence submitted the man should be given eight months imprisonment, wholly suspended for 18 months.
This submission was based on two previous cases, with Ms Mendelsohn handing up the details of the sentencing.
Magistrate Young said he was not bound by such a submission, despite both parties agreeing.
"However, I disagree with their conclusions," he said.
While no compensation claim was made and no medical or psychological evidence available, the man was also ordered to pay $500 compensation.