Reign of terror ends in jail

A MARYBOROUGH man who terrorised his ex-girlfriend over five months with physical and emotional abuse, persistent stalking and threats – including that he had paid a local bikie gang $5000 to gang rape her – has been jailed.

He was sentenced to two and a half years behind bars.

The Maryborough District Court heard this week 45-year-old Philip Potrebica had been in a relationship with the Maryborough woman for one year in March 2010 when things started to go downhill.

Crown prosecutor Michael Spencer said Potrebica became physically and emotionally abusive to the point that in August the woman took out a domestic violence order so he could not contact her.

But a month after the order was made Potrebica was turning up uninvited at the woman’s home, where she lived with her 12-year-old daughter.

Mr Spencer said on one of these occasions the woman agreed to have a few drinks with her ex.

A few hours later he had her on the ground, kicking her in the head, back, buttocks and legs, trying to strangle her and dragging her along the ground by her hair.

After leaving, Potrebica bombarded his ex with phone calls.

“He asked her questions like ‘How deep is the Mary River? You’re about to find out’ and told her that he had paid (a motorcycle gang) to come and gang rape her ... that she had $5000 on her head,” Mr Spencer said.

The court heard phone records had revealed that in the next couple of months Potribica called the victim more than 230 times and texted her more than 210 times.

A few days before Christmas Potribica went to her house to give her daughter a gift. “As for you, you two-faced lying sl*t, you don’t get anything,” Mr Spencer quoted Potrebica.

Mr Spencer said the final offences came on New Year’s Eve and Day while his ex was out. He said Potribica removed the fuses from a power box and broke in, leaving windows open, the fridge and freezer ajar and a bedroom window smashed.

Defence barrister David Shepherd told the court his client “was sorry for what has happened” but he “just wants to get on with his life”.

Mr Shepherd said Potribica was “not inherently a nasty bad person” and he had been in a stable, happy relationship with a different woman since November.

A victim impact statement tendered to the court said his ex-girlfriend suffered psychological issues due to the incidents.

Potrebica was convicted and sentenced to two and half years for stalking and break and enter, with parole in October. He was sentenced to a further six months to be served concurrently for assault occasioning bodily harm.

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