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Two sides to every story

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By Caitlin Bewley
(2nd Yr Swinburne Uni)

What was described as an “extremely serious matter” by police prosecution in the Bacchus Marsh Magistrates court on May 24, was sent to a further hearing in an attempt to gather facts.
A 36-year-old Lavington man, who the Moorabool News has chosen not to identify to protect the victim, appeared before Magistrate Gregory Robinson to plead guilty to charges.
It was alleged by police prosecutor Senior Constable Lisa Schoemaker, the victim of the incident was the accused’s ex-wife, the pair having been together for nine-years prior.
The court heard on March 3 2018, the accused and his now ex-partner began arguing in their Bacchus Marsh home, which soon escalated into physical abuse.
It was alleged the victim wanted her ex-husband out of the house, to which he told her to “shut the f*** up.”
Senior Constable Schoemaker told the court the accused “put his hands around her throat and forced her onto the couch,” all the while saying, “I hate you. I just want you to die.”
During the alleged strangulation, the victim told police she “felt her pulse slowing and saw flashes of green in her eyes”, falling unconscious briefly in the process.
The accused then returned to where his ex-wife was on the ground regaining consciousness with a knife held to his throat saying, “if you want me gone, I’ll do it.”
The prosecutor told the court the accused grabbed the victim by the throat a second time, forcing her into a hallway wall.
Upon releasing her, the accused retreated into the garage where he began pouring petrol all over the concrete floor.
“No one is going to leave this house alive,” the accused allegedly said to the victim.
The accused then ran a shower for his wife to help tend to her wounds, calling the ambulance for assistance, but the police showed up instead the court heard.
The prosecutor told the court when the police arrived, they noticed a strong smell of petrol in the house, the victim saying she “spilled it [the petrol] on herself”.
On March 6 2018, the accused admitted to some elements of what had happened, and a safe contact order was implemented between the parties. The victim came forward with a statement on December 10.
“My client doesn’t accept the full summary,” the accused’s lawyer said. “His version is different.”
“He makes admissions to the choking, but not the extent of her losing consciousness. She was the one holding the knife and poured the fuel,” the lawyer said.
“I don’t know if he can avoid a term of imprisonment,” Magistrate Gregory Robinson said. “The facts are all over the place.”
The victim’s hearing was adjourned until June 28 in order for both parties to reconcile the correct facts of what happened the day of offending.