RUGBY player and former ice user Christopher Rose has been jailed for three years after terrorising his estranged girlfriend in what a judge says was a vicious attack that could have killed her.
"You showed the capacity to squeeze the throat of a person until she almost blacked out. That was very dangerous behaviour," District Court Judge Leanne Clare SC said in her sentencing remarks at Bundaberg.
"You were very fortunate that you were not charged with attempted murder."
During the ugly Boxing Day violence, Rose threatened "I'd rather kill you than let you go", punching her in the head and throttling her around the throat, causing her to nearly black out.
After she spat blood, an angry Rose again punched and strangled her before driving after her when she fled in a car.
Rose must serve six months of the jail sentence before being released to parole for the domestic violence offences.
Rose, 24, pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm on December 26 last year; and two counts of unlawfully strangling/choking when in a domestic relationship.
He also pleaded guilty to drink driving on Bourbong St, and driving unlicensed when disqualified by a court order.
Crown Prosecutor Brendan White said Rose had a serious and unenviable traffic record for a young man.
Mr White said Rose and the 18-year-old woman had been in a relationship and living together when she ended it because of his drug addiction.
After she went to the unit to collect her belongings, Rose would not let her leave, grabbing her by the wrists and pulling her back inside, yelling, where he pushed her onto a lounge, breaking a piece of her clothing.
As she begged to leave, Rose said "I'd rather kill you than let you go", Mr White said.
Rose put his hands around her throat, punched her and covered her mouth with his hand.
After she spat blood into a kitchen sink, Rose pushed her head into the tiles and again strangled her, causing her "vision to go black".
Mr White said she managed to flee past Rose, get into her car and call 000 but Rose pursued her to the Bundaberg police station.
Mr White said it was "appalling domestic violence" that had been continuous, Rose punching her twice when "even one punch to the head can cause a fatality".
Barrister Nick Larter said Rose had now taken the first difficult steps to rehabilitate himself.
He said Rose had the support of family and sporting associates and had stopped using drugs.
Judge Clare described it as "a vicious and protracted attack".
"You were a young man with a lot of promise, active in sport and the community," she said.
"You were highly regarded and fell into amphetamines. Your life began to unravel before you. Your family has helped you rehabilitate.
"You have rebuilt a life for yourself but it's been much harder for her the victim.
"It belies the psychological terror you inflicted on her. She was only 18, smaller than you and vulnerable.
"She must have thought that day you could have killed her.
"It's a very small margin between life and death, it can happen so quickly."
QUEENSLAND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES
Judge Clare told Rose that because his former girlfriend felt so unsafe being in the same town as him she had left her home and family - "the consequences for her have been very heavy".
She said the Crown had accepted that the attack was committed in the heat of the moment, and that there was no intent other than to hurt this poor woman.
Rose was sentenced to three years jail and two years jail for the strangulation/choking offences; and 18 months jail for the assault causing bodily harm offence, to be served concurrently. For the driving offence he was disqualified for two years and three months. Rose will be released to supervised parole on March 18, 2018.
Woman speaks on what happened and why she had to leave Bundaberg
A YOUNG woman throttled and punched in an attack by Bundaberg sportsman Christopher Rose when she broke off their relationship says his violent and shocking assault has made her stronger.
"It was the worst, yet best thing that has happened to me as if it didn't happen I'd still be in a toxic, controlling relationship with him, or dead," she said.
Speaking out against domestic violence after bravely attending the District Court to see Rose sentenced to a jail term for his offences against her, including serious offences of choking/strangulation, the 19-year-old is now a wiser and more determined woman.
"I nearly died, but it has made me stronger.
"I had a good life here with my family and I didn't intend to leave Bundaberg, but after the assault I didn't feel safe and was scared for my safety. I moved soon after and I am still dealing with it (trauma)."
After the Boxing Day assault the woman did not want to be anywhere near Rose, who was a well-known Brother's Rugby League player.
The woman, who had also been a long-term player with the club, could not continue playing the sport she loved.
"Not being able to play rugby league, a sport I love, has been another huge loss to me as it was such a massive and enjoyable part of my life.
"During our relationship he was very possessive, controlling and excluded me from my friends. I lost a lot of my friends because of how controlling he was over me.
"And his drug addiction to ice was very bad.
"I was 18 and it was my first big romance. He was the one the girls were after. He had a Harley, he had a future in football and he was funny and charming - he catches you with the charm.
"I told him I can't have a future with you when drugs are in your life.
"I thought I could change him, help him sort out his life, create a good future, but you can't change a monster like he is. Everyone believes he's a great sporting star, but he's done something so horrible (to me) and he needed to be punished, and people need to know what the real Chris Rose is really like."
The woman said Rose twice grabbed her by the throat and punched her in the face.
"I was just so scared. He was so physically stronger than me and I said, 'why are you hurting me if you love me'," she said.
"He said he'd rather kill me himself than have me leave him.
"Unfortunately domestic violence is happening so much in today's society. We shouldn't hide it. I've never hidden what happened to me.
"I'm not ashamed or embarrassed about what happened to me and hope by speaking up it might help others to understand. Domestic violence is something that people should be able to speak openly about."