Named and shamed: Brisbane’s domestic violence abusers
The scourge of domestic violence is worsening across the state as statistics from the Queensland Courts' reveal frightening increases in domestic violence orders (DVOs) made.
More than 38,000 DVOs have been made by the Queensland Courts over the last year, the majority of which were lodged at Southport, Beenleigh and Brisbane.
Women are, more often than not, the victims of domestic violence in Queensland, representing 77 per cent of those who require court protection.
The orders can include conditions that limit or ban contact between the defendant and the aggrieved, prevent the defendant from coming within a a certain distance of the aggrieved, and order the defendant to be of good behaviour to the aggrieved, among other things.
For some abusers, however, the orders hold concerningly little weight.
Though contravening a DVO can lead to prison time, more than 21,800 people have breached the conditions of their order in the last year, representing a frightening statewide increase of 25 per cent.
It is rare that a journalist is able to name the people who breach a domestic violence order.
One of the exceptions are where the defendant has committed an additional, related offence can his or her name be published, and even then, only in cases where no minor can be identified.
These cases, as seen below, have revealed some of the worst incidents of domestic violence in Greater Brisbane, including everything from threats of body bags to stabbings with scissors.
SCOTT MATTHEW LEAN
"If I can't have you, no one can."
A sadistic Queensland man with an "appalling" history of terrorising women with knives, hammers and death threats was sentenced to a further four years imprisonment at the Beenleigh District Court on Wednesday, April 28.
Scott Matthew Lean, 42, appeared via video link from custody to plead guilty to 16 offences, including six counts of breaching a domestic violence protection order, one count of assault occasioning bodily harm, and one count of choking.
Lean's prior offending notably included 13 incidents of domestic violence in which four separate victims were abused.
Mr Muir recounted to the court Lean's prior convictions for chasing one woman inside an RSL with a knife, threatening to burn another woman's house down, and beating a pregnant woman in the middle of the street in Toowoomba.
The court heard Lean's most recent offending occurred at Browns Plains on July 26, 2019.
During this attack on his ex-girlfriend, Lean threatened her with a knife and told her 'If I can't have you, no one can'.
The offending escalated to where Lean had punched the woman, causing her to fall back on a bed, then leaned over and strangled her as she cried for help and wet herself from fright.
"This is your last breath for the day," he said, as read in the schedule of facts by Judge Craig Chowdhury.
Lean was sentenced to four years imprisonment with a parole eligibility date of February 17, 2022.
It is likely Lean will remain in custody for significantly longer, given the reported delays at the parole board.
HAMILTON FOSTER SAUNDERS
"I'll kill you and everyone around you."
Brisbane man Hamilton Foster Saunders, 33, pleaded guilty to violently assaulting both his former partner and her father during a series of drug-fuelled attacks.
Saunders appeared via video link from prison at the Brisbane District Court on March 30 when he faced 12 charges of an aggravated breach of a domestic violence protection order, one charge of serious assault of a person over the age of 60 and three counts of breaching his suspended sentence.
The court heard Saunders' relationship with his partner started to disintegrate in 2018 when his addiction to methamphetamine recommenced in "a much greater way".
While on a suspended period of imprisonment for two counts of strangling another woman, Saunders violently breached the DVO by "smashing" his partner in the face and head, trying to hit her with a broom and threatening to kill her.
The crown prosecutor told the court that during one particularly horrific incident Saunders grabbed the steering wheel, as his partner was driving, and threatened to drive the car into oncoming traffic, killing both her and those around her.
Acting Judge East sentenced Saunders to six months imprisonment for 11 counts of the aggravated contravention of DVO and assault, and a further 10 months imprisonment for final count of aggravated contravention of DVO.
For the three charges of breaching a suspended sentence Saunders was ordered to serve the balance of the three year suspended sentence and given a parole release date of October 11.
GREGROY JAMES SAMS
"You can't get away now, can you?"
Logan man Gregroy James Sams, 39, pleaded guilty to violently assaulting a former partner during a hearing at the Beenleigh Magistrates Court on April 12.
Sams appeared via video link from custody to plead guilty to 11 charges, including assault occasioning bodily harm, wilful damage and possession of dangerous drugs.
In February 2018, Sams was found guilty of choking his long-term partner at the Beenleigh District Court and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment.
Upon his release Sams took up with a new woman.
The police prosecutor described a particularly violent argument that occurred between the two on March 2, 2019, when Sams began hitting his new girlfriend on the side of her head with his shoes.
The woman tried to protect herself, covering her ears and trying to push him away, but the resistance seemed to antagonise Sams further.
Sams shoved the woman against the wall so hard it left a dent in the drywall, then followed her as she ran into the kitchen, grabbing her hair, twisting it and using it to push her to the ground.
"You can't get away now, can you?" Sams said, according to the prosecutor.
Mr Hamilton told the court that since assaulting the woman named in the 2019 charges, Sams had reunited with the mother of his children, who was present in court to demonstrate her support.
Sams was given a head sentence of 15 months imprisonment, with 202 days of pre-sentence custody served and immediate parole release.
RYAN DANIEL BURR
"So you can smack her in the mouth but you're sad when she dies?"
A grisly photograph tendered to the Pine Rivers Magistrates Court on February 4 showed a young Ipswich woman battered and bruised, her lips bleeding and eyes blackened.
The court heard she'd been publicly bashed and humiliated by her boyfriend, 24-year-old Ryan Daniel Burr, after the pair were kicked off a bus on Warwick St in Ipswich at around 3.30pm on July 12.
Police prosecutor sergeant Graham Turner said Burr accused his girlfriend of cheating on him then pushed her head into a window and repeatedly hit her on the mouth and head, causing her to "taste blood" and feel significant pain.
Police were called to the scene and Burr, a former student of Shailer Park State High School, was charged with assault occasioning bodily harm.
The woman has since died of an unrelated heart attack.
Defence lawyer Brendan Beavon from Russo Lawyers told the court Burr's offending worsened as he struggled to cope with the grief.
At this, Magistrate Trevor Morgan could not help but chuckle in disbelief.
"So you can smack her in the mouth but you're sad when she dies?" he said.
"You're domestically violent towards her, then feel sorry when she's dead?
"You humiliated her to the greatest extent possible."
Burr was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment for the assault charge and given a parole release date of March 4.
CAMERON LYNDON WARD
"He said he'd send people around to her house to rape her."
Brisbane man Cameron Lyndon Ward, 22, was sentenced to prison for threatening to kidnap and rape his ex-girlfriend.
Ward appeared via video link from the Woodford Correctional Centre to plead guilty to an aggravated offence of contravening a domestic violence order, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of explosives at the Pine Rivers Magistrates Court on Thursday, March 4.
At 3pm on December 18 the woman reported she'd received an onslaught of threatening Snapchat, Facebook, text messages and phone calls from the defendant.
"During (one of the) phone calls he said he'd come to her house and kidnap her," police prosecutor sergeant Graham Turner said.
"And in that conversation also said he'd send people around to her house to rape her."
While the woman was at the Hendra police station speaking to officers, she received a further photo message that depicted Ward holding a handgun.
The woman told police she'd seen the gun in person in the past and "knew it was real".
Police located Ward at his home in Albany Creek at 11pm and a stand-off ensued.
The court heard Ward refused to surrender until 1am the following morning.
During a search officers located a pair of knuckle dusters on the floor, a replica handgun that contained a magazine and a live round of ammunition.
Ward was convicted of all three charges and sentenced to imprisonment for six months, with immediate parole release.
"I'll f****** murder you c***."
A Logan arborist and father-of-four children was jailed for 15 months for duping prison authorities at Wacol and Aldershot into allowing him to make "hundreds and hundreds and hundreds" of abusive phone calls to a woman, sometimes up to 45 per day.
Logan Central man Alexander James Heike, 33, appeared in Beenleigh Magistrates Court on February 9 via videolink where he pleaded guilty to more than a dozen offences.
They included five counts of giving false and misleading information as a prisoner, three counts of calling a phone number knowing it would be diverted to an unapproved person, a multiple counts of contravening a domestic violence order.
Disturbing details of some of the calls were read onto the public record.
"Who's there with you, you c***? I'll f****** murder you c***," Heike abused the woman at one point.
The court heard the majority of Heike's offending occurred while in custody and on a four-year suspended sentence imposed in the District Court in 2016.
Magistrate Michael O'Driscoll set Heike's parole eligibility at the day of the trial, in light of the extended period of time he has spent in custody already.
24-year-old Bethania man Connor William Innes pleaded guilty in Beenleigh Magistrates Court to eight offences, including a shocking instance of domestic violence.
Innes was charged with contravening a domestic violence order and wilful damage following his disgraceful actions on July 21.
The court heard Innes verbally abused the woman after he was woken by screaming children, telling her to "f*** up", before he spat in her face, bit her, dragged her by the hair into the kitchen, and smashed her car windscreen to prevent her leaving his property.
Innes, a father of three, had a "deplorable" criminal history, Magistrate Michael O'Driscoll opined.
He sentenced Innes to 12 months' imprisonment with immediate court-ordered parole, fined him $600, and ordered him to pay about $250 restitution for his thefts.
STEVEN MICHAEL LUXFORD
"I'll bury you in a shallow grave."
Former special forces soldier Steven Michael Luxford, 37, was jailed over the repeated abuse of his ex-partner, who he horrifically assaulted over two years and strangled when she tried to leave him.
Luxford physically and emotionally abused his ex-partner, slamming her into walls and bedheads, spitting on her and threatening to "bury her in a shallow grave" if she tried to flee the relationship.
During a profound statement to the Brisbane District Court Peta-Ann Krogh, 36, detailed how Luxford had "literally taken her voice" after he choked her until she blacked out.
Ms Krogh said during their relationship Luxford would make her dress for work in the garage if she did not "give him what he needed" and faked having terminal cancer when she tried to leave him.
Luxford, of North Lakes, pleaded guilty to 14 charges including choking, common assault, assault occasioning bodily harm, making threats and wilful damage he committed while in a relationship with Ms Krogh between 2015 and 2017.
Luxford was sentenced on October 7 to three and a half years' jail and will be eligible for parole after serving 12 months behind bars.
A domestic violence order was extended until 2025.
TRENT JAMES O'BRIEN
"These photos are shocking."
Thornlands father Trent James O'Brien, 30, slapped his partner so hard in the stomach during a nappy change she fell to the ground, struggling for breath, the Cleveland Magistrates Court heard on February 13.
O'Brien, 30, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm.
The court heard the woman presented at hospital with "significant bruising" and required an internal examination.
Acting Magistrate Leanne Scoines could not hide her dismay as she viewed images of the woman's injured abdomen.
"These photos are shocking," Ms Scoines said.
"You need to do some serious work on yourself."
Defence solicitor Kelli Martin said the incident was an over-reaction on her client's behalf.
O'Brien was sentenced to three months' prison, wholly suspended for 12 months.
A conviction was recorded.
DEAN THOMAS MURRAY
"He told her that he was not going to kill her quick, that he was going to torture her for days. He told her she did not deserve a quick death."
Logan man Dean Thomas Murray, 36, held his ex-partner hostage and viciously assaulted her over 24 hours, telling her she would be tortured for three days because she "did not deserve a quick death".
Murray bragged to friends through text messages that his former partner could no longer hear because he had "flogged her" so hard and that he was going to burn them both alive, the Brisbane District Court was told.
Prosecutor Russell Hood said in the lead up to his protracted assault, Murray sent his ex a photo of himself holding a kitchen knife, and other violent texts telling her he would "bust the f--k out of her" and rape and torture her housemates.
The court heard this was just six weeks after a domestic violence order was put in place following their break up in March 2019.
Mr Hood told the court the violence escalated just after midnight on May 12, when Murray called her and demanded she pick him up from his Regents Park home.
As they drove around over the next 24 hours, Murray repeatedly slapped her, choked her until she thought her "neck would break" and hit her across the head with a wine bottle.
The court heard Murray's assault was so vicious that at one point, the woman tried to take her own life because she believed it was the only way "to make it quick".
Murray faced Brisbane District Court on Thursday where he pleaded guilty to multiple domestic violence offences including deprivation of liberty, assault occasioning bodily harm, choking, contravening a DVO and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
He also pleaded guilty to four counts of supplying dangerous drugs.
Murray was sentenced to 5.5 years' jail and disqualified from driving for six months.
After almost two years served in pre-sentence custody, he will be eligible for parole next month.
RHYS ROYSTON YOUNG
Rhys Royston Young, 23, pleaded guilty to one count of assault occasioning harm (domestic violence offence) at the Cleveland Magistrates Court on February 12.
The court heard Young engaged in a "significant, serious and somewhat protracted" attack on a pregnant woman on January 25, 2020.
The woman was driving Young when he became angry, calling her a "b***h" and a "c**t".
He then grabbed her by the throat.
The abuse continued once the couple returned home, and the woman was ultimately hospitalised with significant injury.
Acting Magistrate Scoines sentenced Young to 12 months probation.
"The complainant was screaming for Froome to stop because she was scared."
Recidivist Logan offender Raymond John Froome has been jailed for submitting a 43-year-old sexual partner of his to a week of horror, holding her captive in his home for 48 hours to bash and brutalise her, before sending her housemates naked images of her.
Froome, who now lives at Acacia Ridge, pleaded guilty in Beenleigh District Court on March 18 to common assault, assault occasioning bodily harm armed with an offensive instrument, and distributing intimate images.
The court heard the offending occurred at Froome's previous residence at Kingston between April 3 and April 9 last year.
On April 2, a woman Froome met on the internet went to his home and had consensual sex "multiple times".
She stayed the night and the pair again had sex on April 3, this time "rougher", leading to a disagreement where the woman called Froome a "f****** piece of s***".
Froome lost it in response, grabbing the woman by the neck and punching her in the face several times before "gouging her eyes".
"The complainant was screaming for Froome to stop because she was scared," Crown prosecutor Zachary Kaplan told the court.
Froome then made the woman sit on a chair in the corner of the kitchen, and every time she "said something (he) didn't like", he would hit her.
At one point, Froome punched her in the face causing her to fall onto the ground, at which point he kicked her multiple times before fetching a wooden stick to batter her feet, fracturing her pinky toe.
The victim remained on the floor overnight before Froome "treated her like nothing had happened" on the morning of April 4.
On April 6, Froome messaged the victim's housemate a screenshot of a video of the victim's vagina which had previously been sent to him, warning ominously, "I'm going to start posting this shit all over Facebook, the whole f****** place is going to know the name of (the victim)".
The woman presented to a doctor's surgery shortly afterwards, where she had bruising and scratches to her face and neck, tenderness to her shoulder and swelling in her foot with the fractured toe.
Froome was sentenced to three years' jail and given immediate court-ordered parole, having served just shy of the standard one-third of a sentence before defendants are granted the opportunity to return to the community.
"You're always nagging ... f**k off."
Brisbane handyman has been jailed for bashing a woman twice in a single day, leaving her bloodied and bruised with a split lip among other injuries after he punched her repeatedly to the face and choked and bit her.
Hendra man Andrew John Brom, 37, pleaded guilty in Brisbane District Court on April 6 to five violent offences.
They included two counts of common assault and one each of assault occasioning bodily harm and choking that occured on June 15, 2020 at a Woolloongabba hotel.
Sometime between 3-4pm, the female victim accused Brom of being unfaithful to her with another woman, which he denied.
During the argument, Brom, an alcoholic and user of methamphetamine, cannabis and amphetamine, said "a number of unkind things" to the victim before leaning over and punching her in the mouth while she sat on a couch.
This caused her top lip to split, an injury which would ultimately require five stitches.
He then ran from the hotel room.
Later that evening, the victim called the defendant who told her he was on his way to her place.
He told her she was "always nagging" and told her to "f*** off".
When he arrived up at the room, Brom continued the assault, punching the victim to ribs, which took her breath away, and her right eye, the court heard.
This was followed by a "wrestle" where the victim told Brom she "hated him".
He then placed his hand over her mouth, reopening her lip wound, before wrapping his hand around her neck and squeezing, cutting off her air supply for 10 seconds.
He was arrested about 1am the following day and has spent the intervening period, a total of 294 days, in pre-sentence custody.
Brom was jailed for three years and will be released on parole on June 15 this year after serving one-third of the sentence, taking into account his pre-sentence custody.
Logan labourer Mark Mcdowell flew into a fit of rage when denied sex by his estranged wife, choking her before stabbing her in the back with a pair of scissors.
Despite this, there remains a "lot of love and affection" between the partners of 27 years, and the victim wants her man back, a court heard.
The Woodridge man, 49, pleaded guilty in Beenleigh District Court to choking and unlawful wounding following last September's violent assault.
When the woman rebuffed McDowell's amorous advances he flew into a fit of rage, strangling her so her breathing was impeded, before she broke free and ran outside their unit complex.
McDowell chased her, arming himself with a pair of scissors, and stabbed her to the right side of her back causing a 2cm-deep puncture wound which required hospitalisation at the Princess Alexandra.
When police arrived at the incident, McDowell resisted arrest and he was also discovered in possession of marijuana seeds and digital scales, leading to a further three summary charges, all of which he pleaded guilty to also.
Defence counsel Rick Taylor told the court McDowell and the woman's relationship was "volatile".
Judge Craig Chowdhury, after reading Amanda's victim impact statement, noted there appeared to still be a "lot of love and affection" between the pair and that she was ready to take him back.
McDowell was sentenced to three years' jail to be released on immediate parole, having served 11 months.
JOSHUA STEPHEN WILKINSON
"She lost consciousness and control of her bladder functions and crumpled to the floor."
A minor dispute about the behaviour of a friend's child led Woodridge man Joshua Stephen Wilkinson, 28, to choke a pregnant woman to unconsciousness and incontinence before punching her in the head while she lay defenceless on the ground.
He pleaded guilty to five offences: Choking, common assault, breaching a domestic violence order, wilful damage and trespass.
Beenleigh District Court heard the "disgraceful" assault occurred on November 16, 2019 at Wilkinson's home.
Wilkinson left in the morning to go fishing with a friend, returning mid-afternoon already showing signs of intoxication.
Wilkinson then had friends over for drinks.
One of the friends raised concerns about something he had said to her young child, and the woman asked him to apologise.
The court heard Wilkinson grabbed her around the neck and lifted her against a wall so her feet weren't touching the ground.
She lost consciousness and "control of her bladder functions" and crumpled to the floor, at which point Wilkinson then punched her to the head.
The court heard the woman was 11 weeks pregnant at the time, although it was "unclear" if Wilkinson was aware.
The court heard Wilkinson had a lengthy criminal history which commenced in 2010 and includes previous domestic violence-type offences.
He will be eligible for parole after serving five months of a two-and-a-half year head sentence.
*For 24-hour support phone Queensland's DVConnect on 1800 811 811 or MensLine on 1800 600 636, NSW's Domestic Violence Line on 1800 656 463 or the national hotline 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).
Originally published as Named and shamed: Brisbane's domestic violence abusers