Young miner who grabbed girlfriend by throat escapes with fine
A YOUNG Mackay miner who manhandled his girlfriend during an argument - grabbing her by the throat and marching her down the road - has walked from court with no conviction recorded.
It came after Judge Deborah Richards described the prevalence of domestic violence as a "scourge" on the community, and noted choking is a "very strong indicator, or precursor, to domestic violence murders".
However, Judge Richards found Jayden Edward James Croxon-Hibbens' case was "exceptional", as his behaviour was "out of character" and it was clear he was "very sorry".
"Whereas normally I wouldn't hesitate to impose a period of imprisonment where a male person, or even a female, wraps their hands around someone's neck, in these circumstances I'm of the view you're unlikely to offend and you are remorseful," the judge said.
"And that you've taken significant steps towards your rehabilitation.
"So, given all those factors, I'm not going to record a conviction, but I am going to record a very substantial fine."
Croxon-Hibbens, 21, who was supported from the public gallery by his former girlfriend (who wanted to rekindle their relationship) and his uncle, faced Mackay District Court on Tuesday, with no prior criminal record.
He pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm on March 5 in Mackay, over the brief assault on a public street, which caused fairly minor injuries.
Croxon-Hibbens had been charged with choking, suffocation or strangulation, but that was discharged by the prosecution on Tuesday in favour of the new charge.
Crown prosecutor Alex Baker produced CCTV footage, which showed Croxon-Hibbens' actions on March 5.
She said the violence shown was relatively minor, compared to some cases the court sees, but called for at least a conviction recorded and a community service order.
Ms Baker said Croxon Hibbens had an "overreaction in the circumstances", but made full admissions to police and admitted he was in the wrong.
Defence barrister Bronwyn Hartigan, instructed by Fisher Dore Lawyers, described her client as a hard worker from a good family, who made an "out of character" decision which occurred in about three seconds.
She said Croxon-Hibbens "feels terrible" and violence was "not in his nature".
Croxon-Hibbens' was part-way through a domestic violence offenders course, as part of voluntary rehabilitation.
Ultimately, Judge Richards fined Croxon-Hibbens $5000, which she said could result in six months jail if not paid.
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