Man jailed for bashing cancer patient
A DRUNKEN attack on a terminally ill cancer patient has left the victim unable to visit her friends in Tasmania before she dies, the Supreme Court in Hobart has heard.
Leigh John Parker, 55, of Murdunna, has been sentenced to at least two years and nine months in jail for assaulting his partner of five years on September 27 last year.
Sentencing Parker on Wednesday, Chief Justice Alan Blow said the woman had been diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer about four months before the assaults. As a result of the cancer, she had a hysterectomy in July last year and underwent chemotherapy.
Chief Justice Blow said that on the night of September 27 the couple argued. Both had been drinking all day and were intoxicated.
"The argument escalated. Mr Parker picked up a teapot that had belonged to the complainant's mother, intending to break it," Chief Justice Blow said.
"She went to grab it from him. He reacted by hitting her over the head with it."
The woman then tried to end the argument and went to the bedroom. Parker pushed his way in and told her he wanted her to get out of his house but she said she was not going anywhere at that time of night, the court heard.
Chief Justice Blow said Parker then pushed the woman twice, both times causing her to fall. The second fall caused her hysterectomy wound to split open.
"She ran outside, and fell to the ground on the driveway. She lost and regained consciousness a number of times," Chief Justice Blow said.
The court heard Parker called for an ambulance, put a blanket over the woman, and then went to his next-door neighbour's house where he asked for a cigarette and said he thought the woman was dead.
She was taken to the Royal Hobart Hospital where she underwent emergency abdominal surgery and had a laceration to her head repaired with nine staples.
The woman, who moved to Tasmania in 2011 or 2012, has returned to her home state - leaving behind her friends and possessions, including items of great sentimental value - where she has the support of her two daughters.
"She is not well enough to return to Tasmania to visit her friends, whom she would like to visit before she dies," Chief Justice Blow said.
He said Parker "sincerely regrets" his conduct towards the woman and realised his violence was associated with his alcohol problem, for which he has since sought help.
He sentenced Parker to four years and three months jail with a non-parole period of two years and nine months.