Assault in home 'pitiful': magistrate

AN incident in which a man punched his former de-facto partner with his two children in the house after she punched him first was yesterday described as “pitiful” by a Ballarat magistrate.

Peter Couzens told Joshua Williams the fact his ex-partner had punched him first “in no way justifies or excuses your behaviour”.

“Courts can never be seen as not treating assaults on partners without the utmost seriousness,” Mr Couzens said.

“It is pitiful to think what was happening in that house and in that time.

“When children are placed in situations where there is violence it ultimately impacts on them, no matter how young they are.”

Police prosecutor Senior Sergeant Adam McCormack said Williams was at the victim’s Sebastopol home on August 23 last year with their four-year-old and one-year-old at home.

He said Williams became verbally and physically aggressive after an argument broke out about the children’s care and his use of his ex-partner’s car, with Williams pushing the victim in the chest.

“The victim punched the accused and the accused then punched the victim in the face, causing her to fall to the ground,” Senior Sergeant McCormack said.

He said she was left with bleeding and bruising to both her eye and nose.

On August 28 the victim made a statement of non-complaint to police before changing her mind.  Mr Couzens fined Williams $1500 after he pleaded guilty to one count of reckless conduct causing injury.