Time in jail for 'choking' a wake-up call for man
THE relatively new law of "choking" has left a Toowoomba man sitting in jail for three months.
However, those three months proved beneficial to the 21-year-old who had used the time to become free of marijuana use and focus on a more positive future, his barrister Steve Kissick told Toowoomba District Court.
The 21-year-old, who is not named due to domestic violence issues, was in bed on the morning of May 20 when he was woken by his then partner who had their two-year-old son, the court heard.
After the man said his daughter from a previous relationship was going to be dropped off at the home, the couple engaged in an argument during which he had slapped his de facto wife, Crown prosecutor Elizabeth Kelso said.
The woman had then taken their son out of the room, but when she returned for her phone, the man had grabbed her around the neck with both hands and squeezed to the point she thought she was going to black out.
After fighting back, she had collected her son and fled the family home and went to police, Ms Kelso said.
When police attended the house to speak with the 21-year-old they found a "bong" for smoking marijuana and took him into custody where he had remained for 111 days before appearing in court to plead guilty to the charge of choking in a domestic violence situation and to possessing a drug utensil.
Mr Kissick said his client's time in custody had been a "circuit breaker" and that he hadn't realised just what a negative effect marijuana had had on him.
The couple's relationship was at an end and his client would be living with his mother when he was released from custody, he said.
Judge Deborah Richards said the choking legislation had been implemented in response to the number of women seriously injured or killed during domestic violence situations.
However, she noted the defendant had no previous instances of violence.
"That tells me this is unusual conduct for you," Judge Richards told the prisoner.
"You've had time to reflect on what you've done and I accept you are remorseful."
Judge Richards sentenced the man to 15 months in jail but, declaring the 111 days pre-sentence custody as time served under the sentence, ordered he be released on parole immediately.