IN COURT: Dale Philip Grace.
IN COURT: Dale Philip Grace.

The 'appalling' reason sauced-up salesman back in court

AFTER he was reprimanded in court for his sauced-up driving decisions last month, a salesman has again faced the consequences of his actions after an abusive, drunken tirade escalated.

Appearing in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court this week, Dale Philip Grace pleaded guilty to one count of assault occasioning bodily harm.

The 27-year-old female victim is the defendant's wife and mother of his 18-month-old son and the incident was witnessed by the father of the aggrieved.

Staying at her parent's house in Bundaberg at the time of the incident, the victim left a fishing rod at the front letterbox for the defendant to collect.

But when Grace arrived at the home, he began banging on the front door and demanding to speak to his wife.

The victim's father, who witnessed the incident, allowed Grace to enter the house where he immediately started abusing the victim, saying "you won't talk to me f------ b----, you s---."

Placing her hand over Grace's mouth, the victim replied "don't speak to me like that - I'm sick of you speaking to me like that."

Stepping forward and leaning towards the victim, the defendant punched his wife in the face with his right hand which was in a closed fist.

The victim's father then placed himself in between his daughter and Grace.

While attempting to protect her, a physical altercation has occurred, resulting in both men ending up on the ground.

"I'm going to finish (victim's name) off - I'm going to kill her," the defendant said, to which the father replied "no, you're not."

Grace then said "I get more satisfaction out of a prostitute than (victim's name.)"

Ushering the defendant out of his house, the witness watched him leave while the victim retreated to the loungeroom and dialled triple-0.

When police arrived at the residence, they spoke with both the witness and victim, who they said was visibly upset, crying and had a red, slightly swollen cheek.

Providing police with an open statement, the victim said Grace had made contact with her mouth and left cheek, causing an instant throbbing pain to the area and she wanted to proceed with the complaint.

IN COURT: Dale Philip Grace.
IN COURT: Dale Philip Grace.

Attending the after hours emergency department, the victim saw a specialist and a doctor who confirmed she had sustained an internal tear to the nose.

The victim also paid a total out-of-pocket expense of $217.20 for medical treatment.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Dean Burgess suggested a fine be issued to the defendant to reflect the seriousness of the offence and to deter him and others from repeating the behaviour.

"It is appalling for somebody to act like that in front of the victim's father and the way he treated the victim," Sgt Burgess said.

Grace's defence lawyer told the court the defendant voluntarily admitted himself into a clinic for alcoholism three days after the incident occurred and since being discharged, he has been receiving follow-up treatment with a psychologist and psychiatrist through fortnightly meetings.

The court heard Grace also signed up to a 15-day program at a health retreat which starts today.

He has also been medicated for depression and anxiety for the last 16 months.

Previously, the 26-year-old defendant had been living with his young son and the victim, who he had been in a relationship with for three years and married to for two years.

But since the incident occurred, Grace has relocated to Wollombi in New South Wales, where he is residing with a family friend who appeared in court to support the defendant yesterday.

While Grace has not seen his wife and child since the altercation, he has spoken to them on the phone and intends to reconcile in the future.

The pair relocated to Bundaberg from Adelaide with their son to be closer to the victim's family and as the defendant had a job opportunity as a salesman.

Stepping down from this role, Grace is currently unemployed but has been conducting telephone sales very casually.

The acting Magistrate gave the defendant the choice of paying a fine or being placed on probation and Grace accepted the offer of probation.

He was told while initially travelling interstate for work would not be permitted, he may be able to apply for a transfer during the probationary period, if he receives a job offer in South Australia.

Grace was placed on probation for nine months and no convictions were recorded.

If you or someone you know is struggling, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or DV Connect on 1800 811 811.



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