Magistrate sends a message on domestic violence 'curse'
DOMESTIC violence has become an intergenerational curse - and society has had a gutful of it, Gympie Magistrate M Baldwin said this week.
"We have 23,000 (domestic violence) orders floating around (Queensland) and we don't know how many of them are being broken.
"Society has had a gutful of that and we don't want any more," she said.
She was talking to a man who, enraged by an implied accusation of infidelity, allegedly grabbed his partner by the throat and forced her to read his phone messages.
But he was not the only one to whom her concerns were addressed.
"You are part of a society that provides many benefits to you - health, education, legal aid - all free.
"If you don't like both sides of the coin, if you are going to just ignore court orders regarding domestic violence and bail conditions, you are going to lose the right to live among us," she said.
"We don't want violence, particularly domestic violence; because it can be passed to future generations and we have this curse."
Gympie Magistrate M Baldwin said her duty was to deter not only individual defendants, but to send a clear message of deterrence to the general community.
"Sending a clear message to you and others who ignore court orders is part of the sentencing process," she warned in Gympie Magistrates Court on Monday.
"You did violence to a person who had the protection of the court," she said.
"Your degree of remorse is questionable," she told the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
She said he had been charged with breaching a domestic violence order and committed a further offence while on bail.
"Your premature baby was barely born when you committed domestic violence against the mother.
"A clear deterrent has to be made.
"There is no alternative but a prison term given your history and current circumstances," she said, sentencing the man to two months' jail, including time served of 14 days, giving him a release date of August 4.
The court was told the man denied grabbing his girlfriend by the throat, but said he was angry because she had accused him of cheating.
She told another man he also was at "the end of the line," even though he had had a clean slate since 2006.
The man was facing charges of contravening a domestic violence order, his attempts to rehabilitate himself from drug use and violence were to be applauded, but "we don't want women and children in the household holed up in the bathroom calling for help" in the face of violence and threats of it.
She told another offender he needed to stop blaming others.