Ipswich man one of first jailed by new domestic violence law
AN IPSWICH man became one of the first people in the state to be sentenced on a domestic violence charge of choking, suffocation or strangulation.
Non-fatal strangulation became a criminal offence earlier this year following a recommendation of a special task force on domestic violence headed by former governor-general Dame Quentin Bryce.
State Parliament passed the changes in April, which came with a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment.
A 25-year-old man was sentenced to two years imprisonment in Ipswich District Court after he choked his partner in their Redbank Plains home on May 25.
The court heard the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, confronted the 25-year-old victim over Facebook messages as she slept on the couch.
Crown prosecutor Noel Needham said there were accusations between the couple of infidelity before the man punched and slapped the woman's head, choked her and covered her mouth with his hands.
"He grabbed her by the throat and threw her to the ground," Mr Needham said.
The court heard the man choked the woman until she could not scream or breath and "tapped out".
The victim locked the man outside the house during the incident and he damaged a window breaking in.
Mr Needham said a neighbour intervened and police arrived shortly before 8pm.
The court heard the man contravened a domestic violence order naming the woman during the offence, the second similar charge he faced this year.
In a victim impact statement read to the court, the woman said she would support her partner.
Mr Needham said the offending was "utterly irrational".
The man pleaded guilty to one count each of choking, wilful damage and contravening a domestic violence order.
"It's clear recognition and a strong indication to the community offences of choking in a domestic violence setting are a disgraceful and cowardly act," Judge Greg Koppenol said.
The man will be released on parole after serving six months of the two year term.