Lover choked Gladstone girlfriend, could face years in jail

A GLADSTONE man is among the first in the state to be charged under the new offence of strangulation, choking, suffocating under Queensland's Criminal Code that targets the awful blight of domestic violence.

It carries a maximum penalty of seven years jail.

The 46-year-old man went before Gladstone Magistrates Court accused of violent abuse on his former lover to prevent her from leaving the house. She says he also bit and spat on her.

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Police prosecutor Sgt Barry Stevens said the woman was only able to get away from the man when he lost his grip and she was able to slip out of her pants that he grabbed and fled down the street in her underwear to get help from a neighbour.

The man gave chase and was just metres behind her as the neighbour arrived home.

In his bail application before magistrate Mark Morrow the man made it clear he would defend the allegations, saying "this isn't me".

Police charged the man with assault causing bodily harm; choking suffocation strangulation in a domestic relationship; assault; deprivation of liberty/unlawfully detaining the woman on May 15; and wilful damage to a hair straightener.

The man, of solid build, sat quietly in the dock as Sgt Stevens described him as a man who drinks regularly and drank bottles of Jim Beam (whisky) on Sunday before the incidents.

Sgt Stevens said he began to harass and scream at the woman.

But when she told him she wasn't putting up with it anymore he grabbed her by the face, threw her onto a bed and climbed on top "grabbing her face and jaw, and slapping her".

The woman has accused the man of sitting on top of her buttocks and then putting his hand over her mouth and nose, forcing her to struggle so she could breathe.

He then punched her with his fist, the woman saying she felt the blows from his punches to her ear and left side of the head.

"She felt a sharp pain to her left ear and felt that he was going to bite her ear off," Sgt Stevens said.

"She was pleading with him... he began to spit on her face.. she says about four times, there was saliva and spittle on her."

Sgt Stevens said she was confined several times and after throwing her on the bed had sat on her buttocks, pinning her down.

As she tried to get away he grabbed her wrist but when his grip slipped he got her by the pants but she was able to slip out of her pants and ran from the house in her underwear.

Sgt Stevens said the man chased her down the street just as a neighbour arrived home. When police arrived Sgt Stevens said she was shaking, crying and unable to speak because of fear.

The man's lawyer Jun Pepito said the trigger for his anger was alcohol and his depression.

"I realised I forgot to take my medication, I got stressed out," the man said. "This (behaviour) isn't me."

Mr Morrow said they were serious allegations but the man had no history of violence.

He granted bail, warning the man that if he went anywhere near the woman he would be arrested.

The case was adjourned to June.

Last month the Palaszczuk Labour government passed new laws to make non-fatal strangulation a separate offence under the Criminal Code in its ongoing move to strengthen Queensland's response to domestic and family violence. The creation of the new offence of strangulation was one of the recommendations of the Special Taskforce on Domestic Violence report Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic Violence in Queensland.

*For 24-hour support phone DVConnect on 1800 811 811, MensLine on 1800 600 636 or the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.


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