Charge/s: Aggravated assault
Appeal Type: Appeal against sentence.
Facts: The appellant and complainant were in a relationship for almost three years. They had a daughter. The complainant and daughter were financially and emotionally dependent on the appellant. The appellant returned from work intoxicated. An argument developed. The appellant struck the complainant to the face with a closed fist. No injuries were caused by the blow. The matter was resolved by a plea of guilty, at the earliest reasonable opportunity. When his Honour, Chief Justice Martin, considered the seriousness of the offence he noted at :
“The offence committed by the appellant in this case was serious. Domestic violence is an offence that rightly provokes community condemnation and rightly requires courts to respond to the community abhorrence of such offending by imposing sentences that are commensurate with the seriousness with which the community rightly regards this type of offence.”
Despite those observations, his Honour considered that the 8 month term of imprisonment could be suspended for 12 months for a number of reasons. Firstly, it was in the best interests of the complainant and her child, cohabiting with the appellant, that he not be imprisoned: . Secondly, the appellant had attended eight sessions of a family violence programme: . His Honour stated that the offence was not in the upper range of seriousness: .