Wild scenes as partner jailed for choking mother of newborn


A security guard was called in to keep the peace in a Mackay courtroom in scenes akin to a Jerry Springer or Judge Judy episode.

Ian Richard William Rolingson, 37, faced Mackay District Court on Monday on domestic violence-related charges including choking his former girlfriend until she could not breathe.

His victim, his former partner and the mother of his baby son, sat opposite his new girlfriend.

With a large head tattoo and wearing board shorts, the father of five swore intermittently from the dock while his family members insisted he behave.

While the court was adjourned to confer with the victim, the man called his former partner names and told police officers to "f--- off".

Crown prosecutor Elise Sargent said the victim had a domestic violence protection order in place against Rolingson when he contravened it at a North Mackay address on September 15 last year.

The court heard the then pair had been in court earlier that day to tighten the order's conditions which had made Rolingson angry.


Ian Richard William Rolingson has been jailed for three years.
Ian Richard William Rolingson has been jailed for three years.


Ms Sargent said Rolingson later went to the victim's grandmother's house to collect their five-week-old son in contravention of the order.

She said tempers flared on both sides when the woman told her former partner to leave.

The woman threw some of Rolingson's belongings over the fence and he called her a slut.

"(The woman) said, 'You're a faggot and you wonder why these other women don't have anything to do with you and won't let you have anything to do with your kids'," Ms Sargent said.

The court heard Rolingson then lunged forward, grabbed her throat and choked her until her eyes burned and she could not breathe.

He then bit her lip and pushed her backwards.


Ian Richard William Rolingson.
Ian Richard William Rolingson.


Ms Sargent said Rolingson was arrested and denied his actions to police, only admitting the truth after CCTV footage showed he was lying.


She said the victim relocated to southeast Queensland out of fear, was emotionally strained with anxiety, now distrusted men, and her children were impacted after watching her go through court.

Ms Sargent argued Rolingson should be given a 36-month jail term.


Ian Richard William Rolingson is accused of choking his former partner.
Ian Richard William Rolingson is accused of choking his former partner.


Defence barrister Stephen Burn, instructed by Strutynski Law, said his client now worked as a farmhand and maintained contact with his two older children.

Mr Burn said Rolingson also had become a fatherly figure to his new girlfriend's four children after six months of dating.

He said his client, whose neighbour introduced him to ice and marijuana at age 11, experienced four key events in the lead-up to the offending.

This included three separations between Rolingson and his former girlfriend over an 11-month period, his GP diagnosing him with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease shortening his life expectancy by 15 years, getting sacked from his tyre fitting job days earlier, and suffering from poor mental health.

Mr Burns said Rolingson had since completed two domestic violence counselling sessions and had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but could not produce any proof for the latter.

He asked for a two-year sentence to be suspended after six months, to which Judge Clare reminded him the courts were asked to give greater focus on domestic violence's impact on victims.


Ian Richard William Rolingson.
Ian Richard William Rolingson.


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Judge Clare told Rolingson he had an anti-social record stretching 20 years including assaulting a police officer in 2009 and defying domestic violence protection orders.

Rolingson - who pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm, choking, and contravening a domestic violence protection order - was sentenced to three years jail, to be released on parole on March 16, 2022.

As he was escorted from the dock, the man told police, "Get out of my f**king road".

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