‘Mental scars’: Woman dragged and choked
A young woman's feet lifted off the ground as she was held against a wall by her throat when a friends-with-benefits relationship turned sour.
Christopher William Duthie, 30, was on Thursday sentenced to probation for domestic violence inflicted on the woman he was dating casually in 2019.
Maroochydore District Court heard the woman was left feeling anxious and depressed after she was choked by Duthie at their Mountain Creek home.
Defence barrister Simon Lewis said the pair's casual and open relationship was complicated by the fact they lived together.
The court heard the 20-year-old woman returned home about 7pm to find Duthie had destroyed some of her belongings.
She confronted him about the damage.
"He shouted at her, pushed her in the chest against the bedroom door, placed his hands around her throat and squeezed for approximately seven to 10 seconds which, for that period or momentarily, prohibited her from breathing," crown prosecutor Alex Stark told the court.
He said Duthie's outburst continued in a protracted ordeal.
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"He pushed her to the ground, threw a chair at her, grabbed her by the ankles and dragged her out of her room," Mr Stark said.
"He continued to damage property, and again pushed her against a cabinet and squeezed his hand around her throat, temporarily restricting her breathing.
"He walked to the kitchen and removed several knives, threatening to kill himself."
The woman called an ambulance which prompted Duthie to throw her belongings into the front yard.
He choked her again.
"To such effect, he actually lifted her off the ground high enough that her feet could not touch the ground," Mr Stark said.
"And he hit her head against the wall repeatedly."
The court heard damage to the home totalled about $3000.
A statement from the victim said the ordeal had a substantial emotional impact on her.
Duthie previously pleaded guilty to the domestic violence offences of choking in a domestic relationship, and wilful damage.
He had spent 120 days in pre-sentence custody.
Defence barrister Simon Lewis said there was no utility in Duthie serving another short period behind bars.
"The flip side of that though is domestic violence offending, and choking in particular, is very serious," Judge Michael Byrne replied.
Mr Lewis said that was accepted and highlighted Duthie had engaged in the Men Choosing Change program and saw a psychologist to address his mental health.
"There was at least an element of violence in his growing up," Mr Lewis said.
He said Duthie was previously injured while training to join the Army and he now worked as a retail assistant at a liquor store.
Judge Byrne told Duthie the mental scars he caused to his victim "would not heal rapidly".
"She will no doubt continue to feel anxious, depressed and have feelings of worthlessness for some time," he said.
"She also suffered financially and while her victim impact statement does not provide a quantum of her overall loss, I could safely say it is at least, I would have thought, $3000."
Judge Byrne said domestic violence was a blight on society.
Duthie was sentenced to 120 days in prison, which he had already served, and was placed on probation for three years.
A conviction was recorded for the choking offence only.