Man released after strangling ex-partner in front of kids

A MAN who strangled and smothered his ex-partner with a pillow said he used drugs as a way to cope with the end of the couple's 16-year relationship.

The South Burnett father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was released on parole after he pleaded guilty in the Kingaroy Magistrates Court to a string of charges, including possession of cannabis and meth, drug-driving and two breaches of a domestic violence order.

The court heard the man had been in a long-term relationship with the victim before they both pursued other relationships. The man shared children with her, but had struggled to accept the end of the relationship.

A new relationship added further strain to the situation, and the man grew increasingly aggressive towards the victim and her new partner.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Wayne Bushell said the man visited the couple's home frequently and behaved violently over a number of months.

The abuse, that happened in front of the woman's four children, stemmed from locking the victim in a bedroom, with the defendant placing his hands on her neck and smothering her.

Defence lawyer Chris Campbell said the defendant had used drugs as a way to cope with his problems, despite him having a history of drug charges.

A statement from the victim read the man had, on one occasion, spat on her and tackled, choked and forced her to the ground. The defendant also smashed up the victim's partner's car.   

Mr Campbell said the defendant had attended appointments with a psychologist and had attempted rehabilitation.   

The aggrieved and her partner as well as the defendant were all involved in drugs, and Mr Campbell said the new partner had attempted to stab the defendant.   

"I would submit that it was quite a toxic environment in which both parents weren't considering their children and what was going on," Mr Campbell said.   

"There will obviously be consequences flowing on from that." 

Magistrate Andrew Hackett said the degree of violence towards the victim was significant, causing bruising.

He sentenced the defendant to an eight-month suspended jail term, and a fine of $400 and a one-month licence suspension.