Woman forced on knees in horror attack by well-known manager
A GLADSTONE man has walked free from jail after pleading guilty to a horrific roadside assault.
Paul Daniel Carroll, 44 pleaded guilty in Gladstone District Court to one count of choking in a domestic relationship and two breaches of a domestic violence order.
The court heard on November 19 Carroll and his partner were driving in Gladstone when they began to argue.
The woman pulled the car to the side of the road and the man grabbed her handbag and walked away.
The woman followed and there was a struggle over the handbag before Carroll spun her around, forced the woman on her knees and put her in a choke-hold.
The court heard the assault, "in the middle of the road”, lasted up to a minute and was witnessed by passing motorists.
Carroll only stopped when one passing motorist, a house call doctor, honked a horn and did a u-turn.
The woman escaped Carroll's grip, got in her car and drove away. She later told officers every time she tried to breathe while in the choke-hold Carroll squeezed harder.
After the woman drove off Carroll tried to get in the car of the witness, hoping for a lift.
But the witness closed the car door and drove away.
Defence barrister Scott Moon said Carroll was a well-known bar and restaurant manager in Gladstone and worked as a boss at several venues across the region.
He said Carroll was hoping to move to Western Australia to work and had no history of violent offending.
He said the other two breaches of a protection order involving the woman were not violent and occurred after the roadside assault.
Mr Moon said his client did not deliberately choke the woman.
Judge Nathan Jarro said it was an "appalling incident”.
He said the woman tried to grab Carroll's hair while his arms were wrapped around her to get him to stop, fearing she would "black out”.
He ordered Carroll to serve a two year jail term wholly suspended for four years.
Carroll was also fined $500 and a conviction was recorded.