Charge/s: Recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm, burglary x 2, common assault x 2.
Hearing: Sentencing hearing.
Facts: On two occasions on one evening, the offender attended the residence of his former partner. On the first occasion, the offender entered through a window and engaged in a physical confrontation with his former partner’s boyfriend. The offender then left the premises. He returned later in the evening and picked up a knife from the kitchen. The offender started a physical confrontation with his former partner’s boyfriend. To protect himself, the victim placed his hand on the blade of the knife and sustained a serious injury to his hand.
Decision and Reasoning: On the burglary charges, the offender was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and 16 months imprisonment, with the balance suspended and a good behaviour order imposed. On the charge of recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm, the offender was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment, wholly suspended upon entering into a good behaviour order. In imposing this sentence, Burns J took into a number of considerations that warranted greater punishment. His Honour noted that, ‘these offences [were] family violence offences and as such must be treated very seriously by [the] Court. [The] community views with great abhorrence the infliction of violence by people in family relationships’. It was also significant that the offences occurred in the victim’s own home. In mitigation, Burns J took into account the offender’s plea of guilty, the steps taken by the offender to address his alcohol abuse (which was a significant factor in all his offending), his remorse and general prospects for rehabilitation.