A MANDURAH man punched his partner in the face “because she was not paying him enough attention” it was revealed in Mandurah Magistrates Court on Friday.
The accused, who cannot be named to protect his victim, pleaded guilty to charges of criminal damage and assault occasioning bodily harm.
His heavily pregnant partner was sitting in the public gallery at the time.
The police prosecutor told the court that the accused and his partner had both been drinking at home on Saturday, March 21.
He became upset at the lack of attention given to him by his partner and they became involved in an argument.
The accused punched her in the right side of her face and threw her to the ground.
She received a cut on her eye and bruising.
The prosecutor said the accused smashed her $500 phone against the wall during the argument because he was concerned she was talking to other men on Facebook.
The victim ran to her neighbour’s home and they called the police.
According to duty lawyer Clare Hay, who appeared for the accused, the victim punched the accused in the ear first.
“I’ve seen the photographs (of the victim’s injuries) and his response was somewhat disproportionate,” she said.
The accused initially pleaded not guilty and planned to go to trial as he thought it would be appropriate to plead self defence.
The police prosecutor said she was concerned that the assault was “a bit more aggravated” than it seemed.
“Looking at the dates, the victim could have been pregnant at the time,” she said.
The police prosecutor argued that the accused should receive court ordered counselling in relation to the domestic violence.
Magistrate Joe Mignacca-Randazzo said it would have been early in the pregnancy when the accused punched the victim in her face.
Ms Hay confirmed that the accused did not know his partner was pregnant at the time.
In his sentencing remarks, Magistrate Randazzo said the accused was a fit, strong man and there was no need to punch and throw his partner to the ground.
He said women are vulnerable.
“Violence is not acceptable in our community, violence against women is especially not acceptable,” he said.
The accused received a fine of $2000 for assault occasioning bodily harm and $500 for criminal damage.
He was also ordered to pay restitution of $500 to the victim for the phone.
Magistrate Randazzo admitted that this was a case in which the left hand gives to the right hand.
He said he reduced the penalty given to the accused as the fines would impact the victim indirectly.
He said the accused is at risk of going to prison if he commits a similar offence again.
“You need to be a role model to your children, without a father sometimes kids suffer,” he said.