A 25-year-old man who put his former partner in extreme fear of what he was capable of, is facing a "significant" term of imprisonment.
The man, who The Courier has chosen not to name to protect the victim's identity, had been in a relationship with the woman for more than one year before the family violence started during their separation.
An intervention order was made against the man but a series of family violence incidents occurred, mostly at the victim's Ballarat East home, from September to December in breach of the order.
"Both were going through a separation due to the accused being violent, abusive and controlling," police prosecutor Senior Constable Steve Kent told the Ballarat Magistrates Court.
On Wednesday, the man pleaded guilty to 17 charges, including recklessly causing injury, stalking, criminal damage and breaching an intervention order.
Senior Constable Kent said the man attended his former partner's Ballarat East home in August but her friend requested he leave the house.
He said the man asked the victim to drive him to the Ballarat Railway Station and her friend followed them in a second vehicle.
Along the way, the man asked the victim to drive him to the Melbourne CBD but he started verbally abusing her because she didn't want to drive the long distance.
Senior Constable Kent said the victim stopped the vehicle and the man punched her to the left eye socket, causing her to feel immediate pain, to black out briefly and blurred vision.
"She received a black eye and was in extreme pain and was very fearful of what the accused was capable of," he said.
She was so scared she could not get the courage to tell police. The accused told her he would beat her up again if she went to the police.Senior Constable Steve Kent
In another incident, the victim gave the man $300 from her mother so he could pay rent on his Melbourne house but he spent it at the pokies.
Senior Constable Kent said when the victim found out the money had been lost, the man became enraged and repeatedly hit her, causing bruises to her arms, legs and body.
Less than two weeks later, the victim was staying at a Tullamarine hotel, organised by a friend, when she left her room at 5am to have a cigarette.
The court was told the victim heard a noise from behind in the hallway and was approached by the man, who told her his mother was in a coma in hospital.
"The accused raised his right hand and hit the victim on the head with force. The victim's head landed on a rock, causing a large laceration to her head," Senior Constable Kent said.
He said the victim was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital where she underwent surgery, received five to seven stitches to her head and was kept under observation by hospital staff and neurologists.
Nine days after the bashing, the man attended the victim's Ballarat East address on October 21 in breach of the intervention order. The victim contacted triple-0 due to her extreme fear of the accused, the police prosecutor said.
On October 26, the man attended the victim's address in a taxi, again in breach of the order. Senior Constable Kent said the victim and her friend were sitting in a car in the driveway so the taxi moved further along.
"The accused got out in a rage and kicked the side door. The victim and her friend were petrified and described the incident as a nightmare," he said.
The court was told the man contacted the victim on her mobile phone 341 times over 17 days in September.
Defence barrister Simon Tan said his client had an intellectual disability and after leaving school in year seven, his mental health became worse and he started hanging out with like-associates and using drugs.
He said two psychologist reports stated the man's disability made it difficult for him to cope with relationship break-downs, causing him to seek acceptance and approval.
"It's serious offending. It's over a moderate period of time. He is still a young man in need of support," Mr Tan said.
The court was told the man was sentenced four years ago for family violence incidents involving a different former partner.
Magistrate Cynthia Toose said the man's charges were very serious, he had very little regard for the victim's situation and it would have been terrifying for her.
She said he faced a significant period of imprisonment followed by a justice plan.
Ms Toose will sentence the man on July 29. She indicated she would impose a sentence of seven months' imprisonment and a community correction order, pending a pre-sentence report and assessment.
When accepting the sentence indication, the man said he was sorry for his atrocious behaviour and sorry he put everyone through hell.
If you or someone you know needs support contact 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
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