Brutal assault: Gym boss, former school chaplain dodges jail
A WELL-known Bundaberg businessman and former school chaplain who pulled his partner out of bed by her hair, before assaulting her and threatening to kill her has walked free on parole.
Tyson Karapa Hepi-Tehuia, owner of a local CrossFit gym and former chaplain at Bundaberg State High School pleaded guilty in Bundaberg District Court today to one count of assault occasioning bodily harm, domestic violence.
The court heard on July 24, 2017, Hepi-Tehuia, 39, had been in an argument with the victim, his partner of 17 years, when she decided to go to bed.
QUEENSLAND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES
Hepi-Tehuia then grabbed her by the hair and dragged her out of their bed before grabbing her by the throat and pushing her against a wall.
"The complainant could not breathe at the time," Judge Tony Moynihan said as he handed down his sentence.
"... you threatened to kill your partner and you smashed her head against the wall a number of times before she fell to the ground.
"You then picked her up and threw her on the bed ... she felt pins and needles in her face, suffered blurred vision, and she thought she was going to die."
But Hepi-Tehuia's defence barrister argued for his client's good character, presenting numerous letters of reference from various local organisations, including Impact Community Services.
Mr Steven Kissick said his client liked to "keep fit" and was the owner of a CrossFit gym in town, and had always been employed, worked in youth counselling and held a blue card.
"He was the Chaplain of Bundaberg State High School for two years," Mr Kissick said.
"He makes a worthwhile contribution to the community."
Crown prosecutor Christopher Cook sang another tune, calling the relationship between Hepi-Tehuia and his former partner as "volatile".
Hepi-Tehuia was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, to be released immediately.