COURT: DV punch almost knocked woman unconscious

A MAGISTRATE has made comment on the 'extensive over-representation' of Aboriginal men in custody, prior to sentencing a Grafton man who punched his partner so hard she was almost knocked unconscious.

The 40-year-old was sentenced to 12 months wholly suspended in Grafton Local Court this week, over one count of assault occasioning bodily harm in relation to the domestic violence incident on August 23. He claims he has no recollection of the event, which left the mother of his children with a swollen face, bruising to her cheeks under her left eye, and blood on her lips.

According to police notes the couple was drinking in Market Square when Williams began to level accusations at the victim around 7pm.

The argument turned physical, and a witness said the 40-year-old punched her in the jaw on at least two occasions with enough force to lift her off the ground and almost knock her unconscious.

The witness called 000 and then flagged a passing police car, but the pair were gone.

When officers visited a Prince St address, they found both the injured victim, surrounded by support, and the accused drinking a Jim Beam and Coke.

After he allegedly yelled, " which one of you c**** called the cops?", he was arrested and charged.

In court on Monday, the defendant's solicitor said he understood he had a problem with alcohol, and that he had blacked out after he "unwisely invested" in pre-mix shots, something he doesn't usually drink.

He agreed a custodial sentence would be a suitable punishment, but argued the admission of his alcoholism was encouraging for the purpose of rehabilitation.

In handing down her sentence, Magistrate Robyn Denes noted the defendant had a history of domestic violence against his partner, which had clearly not been resolved.

"That's how you treat the mother of your children," she said. "Men don't hit women. Domestic violence has to be stopped somehow, and if we need to keep locking people up that's what we'll do.

"Having said that, I am aware of the extensive over-representation of Aboriginal men in custody. I hope you're not beyond rehabilitation. Time will tell."

In regards to rehabilitation, she warned him it would not be easy.

"Saying 'I need help' is sometimes a bit like a child asking for help with their homework - they want you to do it for them," she said.

"There's only so much the courts and justice system can do. You have to do the hard work. I can't do the rehab for you, no one else can."

by pleading guilty despite not remembering what happened, not putting the victim through an evidence ordeal.

55 women in Australia have died this year as a result of domestic violence., and Aboriginal women are number one.

Along with the suspended sentence, he was ordered to complete a domestic violence course. An AVO will remain in place for two years

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