'She almost blacked out': Court hears of disgraceful attack
A DISGRACEFUL attack.
That is how Matthew Keith Withers' assault on a woman was described in the city's District Court today.
In a booze-fuelled rage in April this year, Withers set upon his victim in an effort to get his car keys after drinking about 10 beers.
The woman, noting his level of intoxication, refused and was subject to "20 seconds" of strangulation after being pushed out of the way and having the keys pried from her hands, the court heard.
"She could not breathe and said she thought she blacked out," Crown prosecutor Ryan Peters said.
"She was heard screaming, saying 'no' and making gurgling noises."
When police arrived, they noticed the victim had red marks around her neck.
Withers, 30, pleaded guilty to the strangulation and assault charges and claimed through his barrister David Jones that alcohol had been a problem since he was 12-years-old.
Mr Jones also submitted that Withers had sent a letter of apology to the victim and had started receiving medication for bi-polar during his 177 days on remand in custody.
"She thought she was going to black out," Judge Catherine Muir said.
"This wasn't just momentary, this was over a period of 20 seconds and you are very lucky to have a family that supports you.
"(The victim impact statement) is quite moving."
Judge Muir sentenced Withers to a head term of 18 months imprisonment, ordering that he be released on parole as soon as other matters in the Magistrates Court finalised.