Esperance man released after pleading guilty to assault

Note: The Esperance Express has withheld the name of the offender from publication in order to protect the identity of the victim. 

A 22-year-old Esperance man was released yesterday, March 14, after spending five months in custody for assaulting his partner.

The man switched his plea from not guilty to guilty for aggravated assault occasioning bodily harm before Magistrate Brionie Ayling in Esperance Courthouse on the day his trial was set to begin.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Carolyn Petersen told the court the offender was at the female victim's home in a suburb of Esperance on October 14, 2018, in breach of a family violence restraining order.

The couple began arguing about the man's parenting and the woman locked him outside her house.

He smashed a bedroom window and reentered the house. 

The offender then went to the backyard and picked up a bamboo stick. He hit the victim on the back, causing a welt and pushed her onto a couch.

The victim ran to a friend's house and the man followed her and punched her in the face.

The man's lawyer, Miriam Kelly, said her client was denied bail and had been in custody since the day after the incident.

Ms Kelly said the assault occurred "in the heat of the moment" and the offender had no record of violence.

Magistrate Ayling said the assault was serious enough to warrant a jail sentence.

"It's a serious offence to arm yourself and strike the mother of your children," she said.

However, the magistrate said a major mitigating factor was the five months the man had already spent in prison. 

For the unlawful assault and breaching a restraining order, the man was placed on a nine-month community based order, with supervision and program requirements.

If you need counselling support contact 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732, or Lifeline 13 11 14.

If you need immediate help contact police on 000.