South Grafton man sentenced to seven years in jail

THE words 'not guilty' inked across his neck in bold print have had no bearing on the seven-year prison term imposed on South Grafton man Jacob Hollingworth for choking and punching his ex-girlfriend.

The heavily-tattooed 25-year-old was sentenced in Grafton District Court yesterday, after he pleaded guilty to four charges, with another three to be taken into account.

All of the charges related to incidents of domestic violence which occurred in November last year.

The first happened in a Ford Focus owned by the victim on November 7, 2015, where according to police facts, an enraged Hollingworth punched the windscreen and stereo from the inside of the vehicle, damaging both.

After a short exchange with the victim, who was in the driver's seat, he grabbed her by the neck and choked her for about 30 seconds while he told her "stop crying, shut that f****** door".

The court heard he then appeared to have a seizure, and he later told the victim he could not remember anything.

Just eight days later he grabbed her by the throat and choked her again during an argument.

Hollingworth then pulled out a pocket knife and started waving it at her, before stabbing her mattress and pulling the knife through.

It was further alleged that on November 17, 2015, he entered her home after she refused to tell him where she was, and grabbed her by the hair while questioning he movements from the night before.

He then punched her in the face four-five times before her house-mate moved between them.

Police were called and found him hiding in a cupboard in an "agitated and jittery" state. When questioned, he told them he had been yelling at someone on the phone.

The victim later presented at Grafton Base Hospital with two black eyes and bruising to her neck.

In sentencing, district court Judge James Bennett SC said Hollingworth had a history of serious domestic violence-related assaults and a broader court record stemming back to 2003.

It was also noted that the father-of-three became a ward of the state at a young age due to "uncontrollable behaviour", and had serious drug addictions involving cannabis, heroin, and crystal methamphetamine.

Hollingworth will be eligible for parole in September 2019.

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