“Hideous” family violence offender successfully appeals jail sentence

Troy Hill. Photo: supplied.
Troy Hill. Photo: supplied.

UPDATE, FRIDAY, MARCH 31

A 26-year-old man originally jailed for family violence related offending has successfully appealed the 13-month sentence.

County Court Judge Michael McInerney on Friday set aside magistrate Noreen Toohey’s sentence, and re-sentenced Troy Hill to a four-year Community Corrections Order (CCO) - the maximum length available.

Judge McInerney told Hill he had no hesitation in determining what to do with him when he first read the details of the offending.

But after submissions from Hill’s barrister, Jacob Kantor, Judge McInerney said he was willing to give Hill one chance at a CCO.

Mr Kantor urged the judge not to take the action he initially thought appropriate given his client had sought help for his anger issues, he was still a young man with prospects of rehabilitating and had no criminal history.

Describing Hill’s behaviour as “outrageous”, Judge McInerney said he was not impressed by what he read.

“I don’t hold much optimism for you … but I’m prepared to give you a chance,” he said.

“You’ve got a chance, mess it up and that’s it.”

Hill will need to complete 200 hours of unpaid community work, drug treatment and offender behaviour programs as part of the CCO. He was also fined $3000.

UPDATE, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10

A 26-year-old man who appealed a 13-month jail sentence has not shown up for his appeal hearing.

Troy Hill was due to face the County Court on Friday morning after he lodged an appeal against the jail term handed down in the Ballarat Magistrates' Court last month.

Hill, who was on bail, did not appear.

Judge Michael McInerney issued a warrant for his arrest.

The matter has been adjourned for an appeal hearing before Judge McInerney for later in the current County Court circuit sitting at Ballarat.

UPDATE, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9

Troy Hill has lodged an appeal against the sentence which will be heard in the County Court at a later date.

BALLARAT MAGISTRATES’ COURT, WEDNESDAY 8

A magistrate has labelled the abusive behaviour of a 26-year-old as one of the worst cases of family violence she has ever dealt with.

Magistrate Noreen Toohey on Wednesday jailed Troy Hill for 13 months with a non-parole period of six months after he pleaded guilty to eight charges, including three counts of assault, and one count each of recklessly causing injury and persistently breaching an intervention order.

She told the court it was one of the worst cases of family violence she had dealt with.

"What is truly extraordinary about this matter is Mr Hill has two little children," she said.

"I doubt whether those little children will ever recover from what they've experienced."

The court heard Hill assaulted a former partner on three separate occasions. On one of those occasions he pushed his knee into the woman's face after she became upset from being unable to settle her baby.

“He then picked up the baby and handed it to her like nothing happened,” Ms Toohey said.

On another occasion the court heard Hill verbally abused the woman for six hours because she had attended a work function, before punching her in the face when she attempted to leave.

He was also charged with recklessly causing injury on another female member of his family after he started punching her as she cradled his young three-year-old son.

He later threatened to kill her if she called police.

Other charges included contravening a safety notice and breaching a counselling order.

Hill's lawyer, Mike Wardell, urged the court to sentence his client, who had no criminal priors, to a community corrections order (CCO).

He said the two days spent in the Ballarat Custody Centre had been an eye-opening experience for his client who realised that wasn't how he wanted to spend his life.

But Ms Toohey said the matters were too serious for a CCO. She said the seriousness warranted no sentence other than imprisonment. 

Hill was also fined $750 for breaching the counselling order.