News

Christmas split ends in violence

A MAN flew into a jealous rage and tried to strangle his partner after she told him she was ending their relationship because her parents didn't approve.

The 20-year-old woman spent Christmas 2010 with her family and returned to her partner's Brassall home early on Boxing Day and tried to break it off.

Ipswich District Court yesterday was told Desmond Brian Ballangarry, 23, was so upset he started punching himself in the head and chest.

He then grabbed a knife from the kitchen and threatened to stab himself in the stomach.

Ballangarry then turned his attention on the victim, slapping her face and punching her in the hip.

The woman told police he then grabbed her around the throat and dragged her along the ground.

In a statement read out to the court, the woman said she "could feel the life slipping out of her".

"When Desmond was strangling me, I was petrified I was going to die," the statement said. "I used to be a confident person - now I'm terrified he'll find me and hurt me. I am scared to be in the house even with the doors locked."

The couple's two-year-old daughter witnessed the attack.

The woman was able to free herself and Ballangarry fled - grabbing the Christmas tree on the way out and smashing it to pieces.

Ballangarry's defence said he hadn't actually squeezed the woman's neck or dragged her along the ground.

The woman received injuries including redness and tenderness to the neck, face and pelvis.

Ballangarry pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm and was put on two years probation.

Defence barrister Peter Sloane said Ballangarry and the woman had been living together in secret because her parents didn't approve of the relationship.

The pair had arranged for the woman to tell her parents she was back with him during her Christmas visit.

However, when she returned on Boxing Day she said she hadn't told them and that she was breaking up with him, which led to Ballangarry's outburst.

"He really liked her and when it was over he didn't take it well," Mr Sloane said.

Judge Greg Koppenol said it was obvious the assault had had a significant impact on the woman's life.

"This case illustrates the impact a moment or two of madness can have," Judge Koppenol said. "It was a very low act - there are no excuses for assaulting a woman."

The judge said probation would help Ballangarry address his anger management issues.

Topics:  assault occasioning bodily harm, boxing day, brassall, ipswich district court



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