An Innisfail man who strangled his partner has been released from prison on parole.
An Innisfail man who strangled his partner has been released from prison on parole.

Bong water strangler out of jail early

AN INNISFAIL man who strangled his then partner while her young daughter was in her arms during an argument over a bong has been released on parole this week.

Joshua John Smith, 32, was sentenced on a string of charges on Monday in Innisfail District Court which dated back to November 2017.

Smith had been incarcerated at Lotus Glen Correctional Centre for 432 days until his parole release on Monday.

Smith's imprisonment had come after an incident on April 2, 2019, which led to a charge of choking, suffocation, strangulation in a domestic relationship - a domestic violence offence.

The court heard Smith had become agitated with his partner who wouldn't admit to spilling bong water and then slapped her face while she sat on the toilet.

Judge Dean Morzone continued to detail the incident which carried on to the lounge room where the woman's daughter was, having been woken by the earlier ruckus.

"You were continually abusive," Judge Morzone said.

"Then you grabbed her by the throat, lifted her up, carried her across the room and held her against a wall, all while she was still holding her daughter.

"You used both hands to tighten your grip around her throat, squeezed for a few minutes so she could not breathe.

"She fell faint, she gasped for air, while feeling that she was going to die.

"She punched out at you, which caused you to release.

"She ran outside and called for help and when police came you tried to flee over the fence carrying scissors and a homemade bong."

Judge Morzone found Smith guilty of all 12 charges and sentenced him to three years jail for the charge of strangulation.

All other charges will be served concurrently.

Smith's recent 14 months in prison was declared to be served under sentence.

Judge Morzone told the court Smith was a man who had displayed admirable traits in prison which led to his parole release.

"The reality is you do display to me, a gentility," Judge Morzone said.

"A capacity to respect, a capacity to be responsible for your own behaviour and health and also a sense of responsibility to those whom you've affected here and also your parents who need you probably more than ever in their own challenges.

"Since your offending, I do have to consider in respect of those matters, the risk of physical harm to others in the community through you, and how to protect others from you.

"When I weigh up all of the things I've learnt about you, I think that risk is low while you are clean and sober."

Originally published as Bong water strangler out of jail early



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