Man breaks partner's nose

AN afternoon that began with a couple enjoying a few drinks at a hotel - then at home - turned so ugly that by late in the evening one of them had been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and the other was nursing a suspected broken nose.

On May 23, Yamba man Samuel Jay Wilkins, 25, and his partner attended the 'Sunday Session' at the Pacific Hotel in Yamba. They spent the afternoon at the hotel drinking, then returned to their home, where they enjoyed some more drinks.

The ambience of the evening took a severe downturn when the victim of the assault made some disparaging remarks about a member of Wilkins's family and he retaliated with some verbal abuse.

The argument became physical when Wilkins punched his partner in the face, jaw and nose. She also dislocated the ring finger on her right hand while defending herself from the assault.

The victim later told police that after the assault she felt her nose had been broken and pushed it back into place.

One of the victim's two children called police, who arrived to find the couple's place in total disarray, with smashed glasses and crockery all over the floor and the accused nowhere to be found.

Police later found him hiding in the back seat of a van parked out the front of the house.

He emerged with his right hand bleeding and bandaged with toilet paper. He told police he had been the victim of an assault, claiming he had been hit in the hand and side by plates thrown by his partner.

He was later treated at Maclean Hospital for a gash to a finger on his right hand.

In court Magistrate Kim Pogson said Wilkins's behaviour had all the marks of an alcohol-fuelled assault.

"It might be a good idea if you leave the grog alone," Mr Pogson said.

"Assaulting females is not on and is a cowardly act."

Mr Pogson said the level of violence experienced by the victim on that night was extreme.

However, he took into account the contrition of the accused and his early guilty plea and placed him on a 12-month good behaviour bond.

He also put in place an apprehended violence order (AVO) on the couple, who have indicated they want to reconcile their differences.

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