Ex-soldier on parole after admitting to DV assault

Cheryl Goodenough |

An ex-soldier was sentenced to three years in jail but was released immediately on parole.
An ex-soldier was sentenced to three years in jail but was released immediately on parole.

A former soldier who choked his wife after she offered his father a beer has missed going to jail by the skin of his teeth, a judge says.

The man was medically discharged after less than two years in the Australian Defence Force and then had a short relationship marred by domestic violence, a Brisbane court was told on Friday.

The 29-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted punching the woman in the eye, grabbing her hair and threatening to kill her if she left him.

On two occasions he strangled her until she struggled to breath.

He told the woman he had stopped the first time because her face was changing colour, District Court Judge Brad Farr said in sentencing the man.

The second occurred during a “trivial” argument over the man’s wife offering his father, who was doing work at their house, one of his beers.

“For reasons best known to yourself that set you off; extraordinary behaviour,” Judge Farr said.

He released the choke hold when his wife went limp before pouring a beer over her.

The man later accused her of being disrespectful by offering his beers.

“That evidence is a self-importance that is stunning to the extreme and misplaced entirely.”

The man turned himself into police saying he had breached a domestic violence order, telling officers he has lost his ***t a bit over a pretty minor thing.

Justice Farr said it was fortunate the woman suffered no long-term physical harm from the dangerous behaviour.

The man had mental health issues, post traumatic stress disorder, depression and likely suffered an acquired brain injury from an accident as a child, the court was told.

He had developed insights into his behaviour and taken steps to rehabilitate.

“I’m going to take, what I consider to be a bit of a chance with you and I’m not going to order that you be sentenced to a term of actual imprisonment today but you should be aware that you’ve missed it by the skin of your teeth,” Judge Farr told him.

The man was sentenced to three years behind bars after pleading guilty to the domestic violence related charges of common assault and strangulation and breaching protection orders.

Judge Farr ordered he be released immediately on parole.

The man, who had no previous convictions at the time of the first assault, will serve the jail sentence if he breaches parole.

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