Man jailed for assaulting partner

Apr 17, 2013  - News Geelong

A GEELONG tree lopper, who threatened to chop his former partner into little bits during a violent assault, has been sentenced to six months in jail.

Matthew Chapman, 36, of Libra Lane, Torquay, pleaded guilty in Geelong Magistrates' Court yesterday to charges of recklessly causing injury and making threats to kill.

Police Prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Jacki Davis said that, on June 16, 2012, Chapman had been drinking with friends when collected by his partner to drive him home.

"The couple argued in the car and this continued when they arrived home until Chapman fell asleep," Sen-Constable Davis said.

"Two hours later the victim woke Chapman and told him he was snoring.

"She went back to bed but fearing he may assault her, the victim switched on the recording device on her mobile phone and left it running."

The prosecutor said that a short time later, Chapman grabbed the victim's leg and dragged her out bed, injuring her hip as she fell to the floor.

"He then got on her back, placed his forearm around her neck and pulled her head back by the hair, twisiting her head towards him as he continued to abuse her," the prosecutor said.

"The victim struggled to breathe as Chapman held her this way for 15 minutes.

"He told her, 'I'm going to f-----g kill you. I'm going to f-----g chop you up into little bits."'

Sen-Constable Davis said the victim suffered bruising to her arm, leg, hip and breast.

"She still has trouble coping psychologically and remains fearful he will carry out his threat," she said.

Caitlin Wells-Simon, for Chapman, said the incident came at the end of an unhealthy relationship.

"He was constantly unhappy and was drunk that night," Ms Wells-Simon said.

"He was woken by her standing over him, screaming at him.

"He accepts it would have been very frightening for the victim."

Ms Wells-Simon said her client, born and raised in Geelong, now worked in the family's tree removal business and asked the court to consider a significant financial penalty.

Magistrate Michael Coghlan said the assault on the victim would have been terrifying.

"It is difficult to understand why you engaged in this sort of behaviour," Mr Coghlan said. "This was an assault which persisted for 15 minutes, during which you choked her and continually threatened to kill her.

"It was a cowardly, unprovoked assault."

Chapman was convicted on both counts and sentenced to six months in jail, with four to serve immediately and the remainder supended for 12 months.

Chapman later lodged an appeal against sentence.

http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/article/2013/04/17/363121_news.html

 

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