A MAN who punched his girlfriend in the face repeatedly while she slept was sentenced to nine months in prison.
A MAN who punched his girlfriend in the face repeatedly while she slept was sentenced to nine months in prison. Barclay White

Man bashes girlfriend while she was asleep

A MAN who punched his girlfriend in the face repeatedly while she slept was sentenced to nine months in prison after initially saying he was pleading guilty to get the matter out of the way.

When Magistrate Simon Young said he would not accept guilty pleas if there was the chance the man was innocent, defence solicitor Mark Oliver said his client had made admissions about the crimes of breaching a domestic violence order and assault occasioning bodily harm.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Pepe Gangemi said the couple had been in a relationship for five years, and a domestic violence order was in place restricting the man from being within 100m of the woman.

But on July 30, the pair was together at a Murgon house by mutual consent.

"They've both gone there and laid down in the bedroom," Sgt Gangemi said.

"The victim fell asleep. She's woken about 2.55pm by the defendant physically assaulting her by punching her in the face with his hands in a closed fist.

"She tried to defend herself, asking why she was being hit.

"He said that she cheated on him."

The woman had swelling to her face and hand. Her nose was cut and bleeding, and she had scratches on her neck and wrist.

Mr Oliver said the pair had argued earlier, but the defendant did not react at the time.

"He had been watching cartoons and it seems that she chided him," he said.

"He was crying about these particular offences because of the ill treatment that he'd been given when he was a child, and he'd told her to leave."

Mr Oliver said at some stage the woman had thrown bottles at the defendant and hit him with a stick.

"I can't say there was any provocation but my client has longstanding issues about his upbringing," he said.

"My instructions are his mother used to beat him with a stick and when he was beaten previously by her with a stick and a bottle, it got to him and it seems that he had flashbacks."

Magistrate Simon Young said the assault was particularly vicious.

"It's a serious assault. It is in the context of domestic violence. It is unacceptable," he said.

"Such behaviour is a disgrace and will not be accepted by the courts."

The man will be released on parole in December.