NOT GUILTY: Man acquitted of DV charge
A MAN accused of smashing a mobile phone and pulling a woman’s hair out has alleged he was the actual victim of violence on the “frantic” evening.
The man entered a not guilty plea to contravention of a domestic violence order in Gladstone Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
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Police prosecutor Merrilyn Hoskins alleged that on April 4, 2019 at a Barney Point address, the defendant had taken a mobile phone out of the complainant’s possession and thrown it on the concrete, causing it to smash, before later pulling her hair so hard some of it came out.
The complainant, appearing as a witness, said she had been listening to Pearl Jam as it reminded her of her recently deceased uncle when the defendant told her to stop playing it, a fact which wasn’t contested.
In evidence she told the court she had moved into another room before the man allegedly took her phone out of her back pocket before smashing it on the ground in one move. She said she didn’t know why he did it.
The complainant said she then recalled looking at a photo of her uncle when the defendant allegedly began pulling her hair and she said she didn’t know why.
“I remember I was petrified, he kept pulling it harder and harder and harder,” she said.
During cross examination by defence lawyer Cassandra Ditchfield, it was put to the complainant she was the one who had attacked the defendant.
Ms Ditchfield tendered four photos showing the defendant with a black eye, cuts to a nose and a split lip.
Ms Ditchfield suggested the hair that was allegedly pulled out of the complainant’s head had actually been taken out of a hair brush.
She alleged the complainant had thrown the phone at the defendant which hit him in the face, before it hit the concrete causing it to smash.
Ms Ditchfield said the defendant then had kicked and punched the man.
The complainant said it was a top of the range Samsung phone and she had “never ever” thrown it and she did not attack the defendant.
A second witness, a friend and neighbour of the complainant, told the court she saw another man leave the house before she heard banging then slapping noises before she heard the complainant call out for her.
The witness said she went over to the house where she told the defendant to leave, however he could not get out the front door because it was locked.
On bodycam footage the witness told police the defendant seemed hesitant to walk past the complainant but said she couldn’t recall during cross examination.
“The whole situation was frantic,” she said.
When the defendant took the stand he said he had spent the day polishing a car with the complainant when she suggested getting drinks and later inviting a friend over.
He said he agreed the complainant was playing Pearl Jam.
“She started getting more upset with every song she was listening to,” he said.
The defendant said he suggested she should turn the music off and she replied she’ll do “whatever the f she wants”.
He said as the night went on, she became more emotional and intoxicated until himself and the friend said they were going to leave which was when she allegedly threw the phone at him, which hit him in the face before smashing on the ground.
The defendant said he told her he was “seriously going” before she allegedly kicked him in the face hitting his eye and punched him twice in the unit’s lounge room.
The defence called a final witness, the now partner of the defendant.
She said she had met the complainant at a New Year’s Eve party, at the time they were both ex’s to the defendant.
The witness said the complainant had told her she was going to take the defendant down and allegedly she had lied to the police about a domestic violence contravention.
The prosecution suggested the witness was too close to the defendant and misguidedly wanted to support him.
Deputy Chief Magistrate said she was not entirely convinced by either side’s account of the events and found herself to have reasonable doubt as to the defendant’s guilt.
She found him not guilty and he was acquitted of the charge.