Attacker kept behind bars

By Chloe Johnson

Judge Callander said the history of family violence was "gravely disturbing" and declined him bail. Photo / File
Judge Callander said the history of family violence was "gravely disturbing" and declined him bail. Photo / File

A mother has been bashed so severely she is blind and lives in fear for her safety.

Her alleged attacker, a man who can't be named, wanted to be released on bail before Christmas. His lawyer Hugh Leabourne backed him.

Judge Russell Callander heard the bail request at the Auckland District Court this month.

The 40-year-old is charged with grievous bodily harm for allegedly punching his partner in the right eye during a drunken argument in September. Judge Callander said the victim was already blind in her left eye and was now completely blind.

"The punch caused her to fall down to the ground with you on top of her and, at that point, she realised she could not see," Callander said, after reading the police summary of facts.

He said police were called to the couple's house eight times throughout their two-year relationship.

"She says she is very scared, not just for herself but for her mother and daughter."

The man was convicted of rape in 1996 and spent eight years in prison, he said.

Since then, he has had several violent offences, including assault on a child and another assault against his partner in May.

Leabourne told the judge his client had been wrongly charged because he only hit his partner with a single blow. He also said he was not a flight risk.

Said Judge Callander: "It seems to me in the circumstances shown here that it was some sort of king hit."

He also said the history of family violence was "gravely disturbing" and declined him bail.

Women's Refuge chief executive Heather Henare commended the decision.

"It is great to see the judge taking such proactive provision."

- Herald on Sunday

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