It's tough getting out of an abusive relationship but important to press charges if your partner gets violent, one woman says. (File)
It's tough getting out of an abusive relationship but important to press charges if your partner gets violent, one woman says. (File) kieferpix

Bashed when trying to break up, robbed when in hospital

IT was a "toxic” relationship.

And soon after Stuart Peter Smith's partner said she was breaking up with him, she was hospitalised.

After choking his former partner, Smith also stole the woman's bank card and indulged himself with cash withdrawals and PayPass purchases as she lay in hospital.

The Ipswich 47-year-old was sentenced on Thursday for domestic violence and fraud offences.

Brisbane District Court heard Smith's violence erupted after the former partner texted him to say the relationship was over.

Judge John Robertson said the relationship had always been "toxic” but Smith persuaded the woman to meet him.

"When she arrived you immediately started to interrogate her...you squeezed her neck with both hands...She blacked out.”

He also struck her in the right eye.

Judge Robertson said Smith had depression but "addiction to ice” was most relevant to his antisocial behaviour.

He was given two years jail but 385 days he spent in custody counted as time served.

Smith was given an immediate release on parole.

Standing in the dock, Smith told the judge he was "remorseful” and embarrassed at his behaviour.

But his sentence did not impress the former partner.

Outside court, she said it was tough for women in these situations.

She said domestic abusers could get even more violent when victimised partners tried to break free.

"It's so hard because they tend to escalate when you leave...” she said.

But she urged anybody in a similar situation to her to go to police and press charges.

She said Smith's sentence was lenient.

"Sentences in Australia are ridiculous. There's a maximum and it never gets handed down,” she said.

She also said there should be "mandatory courses” for when domestic abusers were released from custody.

The PayPass transactions had been refunded but she said Commonwealth Bank told her it would not refund the cash withdrawals because a PIN was used.

But she was hopeful with Smith's conviction, the bank might change its mind. -NewsRegional

*For domestic abuse support in Queensland, phone DVConnect on 1800 811 811, MensLine on 1800 600 636 or national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.



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