News

Law comes down on violent dads

IT'S a cyclic plague among tens of thousands of Queensland families that has a proven potential to kill, and has been dealt with harshly at criminal sittings of Gympie Magistrates Court.

Gympie's resident Magistrate M Baldwin told the court domestic violence was "condemnable in the strongest possible terms", when sentencing yet another offender who had breached a domestic violence order.

Revealing the names of domestic violence offenders, several of whom face Gympie court in an average week, is often avoided in order to protect the identity of their victims.

However The Gympie Times can report two men were jailed on Tuesday for violence against their partners, who were also the mothers of their children.

This kind of violence, often committed behind closed doors, has become so prevalent in the Gympie region that the court dedicates one day every week to domestic violence applications.

Magistrate Baldwin said some 23,700 domestic violence orders were issued in Queensland per year.

When a domestic violence order is breached, the offender is charged criminally.

A 23-year-old Pie Creek man was sentenced to nine months jail and a 32-year-old Gympie man was given 15 months jail, after each pleaded guilty to breaching domestic violence orders.

Both men had a lengthy history of breaching orders, which had seen them both climb the sentencing ladder all the way to lengthy jail terms.

Disturbingly, the 32-year-old's attack on his wife involved a knife and his words to her included "let's go out together".

The violence was in front of children, with one of them trying to intervene and protect their mother.

The court heard the 32-year-old man, who had previously been jailed for choking his partner, made multiple abusive phone calls to his wife during his time in jail awaiting sentence.

Magistrate Baldwin told him the community had no tolerance for domestic violence.

Similar sentiment was shown to the 23-year-old father of one, who was also expecting another child.

"We don't want girls growing up thinking violence is just a part of being in a relationship. One woman a week dies from domestic violence.

"You've got to be part of the change," the Magistrate said.

"If you are going to continue (violence), you will be put in jail."

Fact box

HELP is available for male and female victims of emotional and physical abuse.

Gympie and District Women's Health Centre - 5483 6588

UnitingCare - 5480 3400

Erin House refuge - 5482 8959

Domestic Violence Hotline (24hrs/ 7 days a week) - 1800 811 811

Lifeline - 131 114

Gympie Times

Topics:  domestic violence, gympie magistrates court, name and shame



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