Gympie District Court Judge Ken Barlow has called a 38-year-old out on his "cowardly" decision to repeatedly punch a woman in the face in front of her two children.

Those same children were preparing to give pre-recorded evidence on Monday morning ahead of a trial for Phillip Doolan, when the Gympie man chose to enter a guilty plea to one charge of assaulting the woman and causing her harm.

The court heard about midnight on September 24, 2019 the woman had gone to Doolan's home to pick up her children.

An argument ensued during which Doolan struck her multiple times in the face, knocking her to the ground.

He then straddled her and punched her in the face several more times while she pleaded for him not to hit her in front of the children.

The court heard one of those children had been seeing a counsellor since the assault.

Doolan pleaded guilty to assaulting the woman in Gympie District Court.
Doolan pleaded guilty to assaulting the woman in Gympie District Court.

Doolan, who had not worked for the past six years as he was himself the primary carer of two boys, appeared in custody having had his bail revoked in early February this year as a result of this and other alleged crimes.

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The court heard he had lost contact with those children as a result and they were now in the State's care.

Mr Barlow called Doolan's criminal history, which dated back to 2000, and included a conviction for punching another woman in the face, was "woeful" and criticised him for failing to do anything to restrain his anger issues even after receiving a warning from another judge five years ago.

He was given a 15 month jail sentence and immediate release on parole, but remained in custody owing to other alleged crimes.
He was given a 15 month jail sentence and immediate release on parole, but remained in custody owing to other alleged crimes.

"You are very fortunate, as was she, the injuries were not more serious," Mr Barlow said.

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"You could have easily fractured her nose and other facial bones.

"It's a very cowardly thing to do, for a man to attack a woman … when she should be able to trust him."

He sentenced Doolan to 15 months jail and released him immediately on parole owing to the four weeks time he had already served.

However, Doolan remained in custody owing to other charges still before Gympie Magistrates Court.

Gympie Times

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