Man badly beats pregnant partner

A SEVERELY bashed, heavily pregnant woman was allegedly forced by her attacker to hide inside a cupboard from police on Tuesday night.

Her partner Leon Lewis Rankin is accused of compelling the badly injured woman to silence as police arrived at their Gracemere home.

The 19-year-old, who was nine-months pregnant, was allegedly struck to her face and head so severely she risked losing her unborn child.

Yesterday she was in a serious condition in Rockhampton Hospital and will be flown to Brisbane for surgery on Monday, to treat a broken nose and fractured left eye socket.

Rankin, 21, was refused bail in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court yesterday because he was not allowed to return to Woorabinda and he was no longer welcome in Rockhampton.

Rankin has been charged in relation to the alleged attack, but could face further offences once officers interview the victim.

Police prosecutor Barbara Barton yesterday said when officers received no answer from knocking at a door of the Gracemere home they then spoke to the person who called triple 0.

She said a 15-year-old girl told police she saw Rankin punch and kick the woman to the face despite her already appearing “puffy and bleeding” and crying out for help.

When police returned to the home they had found the woman curled up in a pool of blood and holding her stomach.

The court heard officers asked the woman where her attacker was and she nodded towards the laundry.

Officers found Rankin hiding behind the washing machine.

In objecting to bail for Rankin, Ms Barton said it wasn’t the first time the defendant had attacked this victim.

She said he was still to face charges of assault occasioning bodily harm from June last year and allegedly attacked her when she was five months pregnant, hitting her over the head.

Ms Barton said Rankin showed no remorse for his action upon his arrest and police feared he would commit further offences and intimidate witnesses if released from custody.

Defence solicitor Peter Sorensen said he believed the victim was not going to press further charges of assault.

Mr Sorensen said Rankin had not been living with the woman, but did visit her often when he wasn’t at Woorabinda.

“At times he has been contacted by the victim, asking to see him because of the baby,” he said.

Acting magistrate Mark Morrow said, because there was no where for Rankin to live and police had a strong case against him, he would not allow him bail.

“You are looking at jail if convicted and considering the amount of violence alleged I have concerns you will commit further offences,” Mr Morrow said.

Rankin is due to reappear in court on March 16.



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