Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Not Guilty of Rape, Guilty of DV Assaults

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Not Guilty of Rape, Guilty of DV Assaults

Article excerpt

Byline: Kerri-Anne Mesner

A ROCKHAMPTON man accused of forcing his now ex-partner to give him oral sex has been found not guilty by a jury.

The man, 31, had pleaded guilty at the beginning of the trial in the Rockhampton District Court to two counts of assault, one of choking, one of common assault and one of assault occasioning bodily harm while armed.

He was sentenced yesterday afternoon for the offences he pleaded guilty to after the jury returned the not guilty of rape verdict just after lunch.

The assaults and choking incidents took place between May 19 and June 13, 2016, including an assault incident where he assaulted her while his mother was in the house. The injuries she'd sustained from the assaults included a laceration to her forehead near the hairline, two ruptured eardrums and a round bruise where he'd poked her with a broom handle.

The accused had taken the stand during the trial and defence lawyer Ross Lo Monaco described his evidence as "warts and all" admissions to his drug taking, assaults and choking against the victim with some variances in versions of events.

The court heard the couple's relationship started unravelling after the man discovered something on the woman's phone he didn't like and he threw it in on coals of a fire, but, according to Mr Lo Monaco, the man retrieved it before the phone was damaged.

A domestic violence order was then put in place and the woman returned to her family on the Sunshine Coast.

Crown Prosecutor Tiffany Lawrence submitted the woman returned to Rockhampton after the defendant threatened her and her family, including her own children.

The court heard one of the assaults involved the man hitting the woman in the head while she was in bed - rupturing her ear drums.

"She indicates (in her victim impact statement) in her current relationship she has difficulties with trust and sleeping arrangements," Ms Lawrence said. …

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