Jason Michael Sexton, 48, pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm in the District Court in Mackay on Friday. .
Jason Michael Sexton, 48, pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm in the District Court in Mackay on Friday. . Whitsunday Times

Man breaks partner's jaw in front of young son

AFTER breaking his partner's jaw with a sickening punch, a miner from Cannonvale lied to police officers and told them the woman had simply fallen over.

That fabrication did not stick, however, and Jason Michael Sexton found himself charged with grievous bodily harm over the strike inflicted in front of his four-year-old son.

Sexton faced the District Court in Mackay on Friday, pleading guilty to the offence, which Judge Julie Dick described as having a "drastic impact" on the injured victim, who still suffers pain and has trouble sleeping.

The 48-year-old man's parents watched from the court's public gallery in support.

Crown prosecutor Alex Baker said the violent offence on December 10, 2017 occurred during a relationship "marred by domestic violence".

"On December 10, 2017, the complainant, defendant and their son attended a Christmas party together," she said.

"There was tension, as the defendant revealed he'd saved the complainant's number in his phone under a derogatory name.

"He'd consumed a number of drinks and ultimately their party left the Christmas party about 6pm."

Ms Baker said Sexton "antagonised" his partner during the car trip home, leading to a "verbal exchange".

" ... the complainant agreed she wanted the defendant out of her life," she said.

"In response to that, the defendant punched the complainant in the jaw, which caused her immediate pain. He then interfered with the car as they were driving. They ended up veering into a vacant lot near the house ... "

Intervening, a witness calmed the situation and the woman was taken to hospital, but she left before being x-rayed.

Later, she had her jaw surgically repaired with screws.

Sexton appeared before the court with a short and largely unrelated criminal record, Ms Baker said.

Defence barrister Stephen Byrne, instructed by McKays Solicitors, said Sexton had been hospitalised in relation to self-harm after he and his partner separated.

The lawyer spoke of Sexton's "very good work history" and he told Judge Dick that Sexton had worked in interior design and commercial fishing, but was currently employed "in the mines".

Mr Byrne said Sexton had lived with mental health issues since 2016 and that alcohol had been a factor in the offending.

Sexton had not seen his young son since he punched his ex, Mr Byrne said, prompting Judge Dick to describe that as a punishment in itself.

Mr Byrne said the victim did not seek treatment via an x-ray at the first opportunity, but Judge Dick dismissed that as largely irrelevant.

Judge Dick said there was "no excuse for a man to hit a woman", adding "violence against women is a blight".

She considered several character references and various other factors.

Sexton was sentenced to two years jail, suspended after six months for three years.

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