Man released from custody after allegedly strangling wife

A MAN has been released from custody and sent back to live in the family home after he allegedly strangled his wife in front of their three children.

The 52-year-old Runnymede man appeared before Murgon Magistrates Court on November 27, seeking a bail application.

He is charged with breaching a police protection notice and a charge of choking as a domestic violence offence.

Duty lawyer Andrew Kelly said the man and his wife had been married for 20 years.

"My client has no criminal history, and there have been no allegations of domestic violence in the past,” he said.

According to Mr Kelly, the incident occurred at the family home on Sunday, November 25.

"It all started when he came home a bit late from the neighbour's place and he was supposed to bring the mower home to do the mowing on Sunday afternoon.

"He was intoxicated, he'd had about 9 or 10 Gold stubbies and the aggrieved had been drinking as well.

"My client threw an empty water bottle towards the TV and he indicates to me that the aggrieved then threw a full water bottle and it struck my client's head.

"They've gotten into a grappling with each other and that's when he's grabbed her around the top of the shoulder and close to the neck.”

According to Mr Kelly, they both then fell to the ground.

"She has a bruise on her back when they both fell to the ground and she landed on furniture.

"His wife is in the back of the court room right now, and the police believe that it was a once-off matter because once the incident settled down there was a cool down provision made that stopped him from going back to the residence before 6pm the following day.”

Mr Kelly said that on Sunday night after the incident, his client had nowhere to go once he was dropped off at the Nanango police station.

"He had no friends in the area. He walked from 10.20pm to 2.30am towards their home.

"His wife estimates that was somewhere in the vicinity of 15-20km,” he said.

"He rang home at 2.30am and said he was on his way home in a T-shirt and he was freezing.

"He asked his wife if she could come and pick him up, which she elected to do.”

Police prosecutor Marcus Hooper said the incident was still being investigated when the defendant returned to the house.

"That's how he's come to be before the court today.

"She does have an injury to the base of her neck, there are some bruising marks and skin has been broken.”

"Police were informed this incident occurred in front of the children, and they have outlined to police what they saw.”

As the police prosecutor detailed the injuries, Magistrate Louisa Pink asked the children to leave the courtroom.

"These children should not be present,” she said.

"I'm sure they're traumatised by their father grabbing their mother around the throat, I'm sure they're very shaken.”

The 14-year-old and 12-year-old boys hugged their mother before leaving the courtroom.

"There is clear evidence that offences of this kind have a high correlation to death in domestic violence settings.

Mr Kelly interrupted the magistrate and said the aggrieved was not in a situation like that.

"Police have never been called to the house for a DV offence. If he is held in custody, he'll lose his job and the family will lose that source of income.”

Magistrate Pink said the evidence suggested otherwise.

"She has injuries consistent with choking, Mr Kelly.

"To say that this defendant can just go straight back to the house in these circumstances concerns me.”

After a brief adjournment to consider the matter, Magistrate Pink returned to the courtroom.

"This is a very serious charge.

"Serious allegations are being made to police by your own children, because this is alleged to have happened in front of them.

"Allegations of strangling that resulted in your wife gargling,” she said.

"You don't have criminal history, and I have regard to your personal circumstances to support your family, your employment, and I have taken into account the likely delay of this matter coming before the court.”

Magistrate Pink granted the man bail and he was released from custody to live at the family residence.

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