Birthday girl, 9, films stepdad choking teen, assaulting mum
MOST kids get to celebrate their ninth birthday with fun party games, friends and cake, but sadly for one little girl, this was overshadowed when the person who was supposed to protect her assaulted her mother and teenage brother.
Appearing in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court, a Bundaberg man pleaded guilty to two charges of common assault after he pinned down his fiancee, 37, causing her to black out and then began choking her 15-year-old son.
It was about 9pm on April 7 when the family were in the process of celebrating the adult female victim's daughter's ninth birthday.
The male defendant who was engaged to the female victim and living with her and her two children at the time of the incident had locked himself in the main bedroom of the house, following an altercation with his teenage stepson.
Police said the 15-year-old male victim was playfully pushing the defendant which quickly escalated and caused him to get angry.
Separated from his stepson by his partner, the defendant locked himself in the bedroom for hours and refused to open the door, despite all three family members attempting to knock on or open the door.
After the female victim went outside and successfully opened the bedroom window, the defendant then shut the window onto her fingers, causing her to scream.
The 15-year-old male victim and his nine-year-old sister went back inside the house and attempted to coerce the defendant out of the bedroom by banging on the door, before it suddenly swung open.
Emerging from the room, the defendant pushed the male victim against a couch and onto the floor, put his hands around the victim's neck, placed him into a headlock and squeezed his neck with his elbow.
The 15-year-old victim said he was unable to breathe for about 20 to 30 seconds during this time and when his sister began screaming, it caused his mother to return to inside the house.
She told police that the defendant would not release her son until she began punching him, resulting in the defendant pushing the female victim down on the ground.
Proceeding to lay on top of the female victim, the defendant pinned her shoulders to the ground with his hands, causing her to black out.
The victim told police when she regained consciousness, she was unable to get the defendant off her, so she poked him in the eye with her finger, which caused him to release her.
Following the incident, he packed his bags and left the property.
Bundaberg police conducted an interview with the defendant on May 29, where he agreed to grabbing the 15-year-old victim by his neck, but said it was to calm him down and at no point does he believe he stopped breathing.
Police also reviewed video footage of the incident, which had been recorded by the female victim's nine-year-old daughter on a smartphone device.
Telling the court his stepson's behaviour was far from playful, the defendant said the 15-year-old was being serious, violent and he thought he was doing the right thing to protect his partner.
Since the incident, the defendant told the court he has not made contact with either of the victims and he had moved on by starting a new relationship with another woman.
Also a father-of-four, the defendant admitted alcohol was involved.
The defendant is currently seeing a psychologist for chronic depression and post traumatic stress disorder, is medicated for depression and anxiety and has completed three counselling sessions at EDON Place.
He said he had been experiencing a challenging time since November last year, but did not go into further detail.
His history contained a similar offence from about 10 years ago, where he was placed on 12 months' probation.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Dean Burgess said the matter raised a number of concerning issues, mainly that children were present at the time and filming the incident, one victim was a 15-year-old male who was trying to assist his mum and the assault on the female victim.
Bundaberg Magistrate Andrew Moloney agreed that the behaviour was concerning and said while he made the right decision to eventually leave, he had still committed the offences beforehand.
The defendant was placed on 15 months' probation with conditions including that he must complete the Perpetrator Intervention Support and Counselling program at EDON Place.
Willing to give him one more chance, Magistrate Moloney did not record a conviction.