Mooloolaba fitness instructor Torben Hugh Stovgaard pleaded guilty in Maroochydore District Court on Monday to serious charges of violence against his wife.
Mooloolaba fitness instructor Torben Hugh Stovgaard pleaded guilty in Maroochydore District Court on Monday to serious charges of violence against his wife.

‘I’m going to kill you:’ Man holds knife to wife’s throat

A fitness instructor who laughed after choking his Danish wife until she blacked out has been released on parole.

Torben Hugh Stovgaard, 30, pleaded guilty in Maroochydore District Court on Monday to four charges including unlawful choking in a domestic setting and wilful damage.

Crown prosecutor Christopher Cook said Stovgaard's wife, who is from Denmark, met him while holidaying.

The court heard the victim moved to Australia in 2018 and married Stovgaard in April last year.

Mr Cook told the court that Stovgaard and the victim had been at a party before the offending on July 6, last year.

"The defendant had some drinks that night and on the way home he was shouting at the complainant," he said.

"She felt scared and he grabbed her throat tightly and he said to her 'I want to kill you, you don't deserve to live anymore'."

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The court heard Stovgaard told her she was the one ruining the relationship and she'd end up dead out of this.

"She (the victim) walked away, he grabbed a knife and held it to her throat," Mr Cook said.

"She felt pain and she struggled to breath.

"He pushed her to the floor and grabbed her throat.

"He slapped her across the face and told her to be quiet in case the neighbours heard."

Mr Cook told the court Stovgaard sat on the victim and grabbed her throat again.

"She felt the pressure was building and she was unable to breath - she blacked out," he said.

"Her next recollection was the defendant standing over her and laughing."

Mr Cook said the fact Stovgaard laughed after she blacked out was "a particularly callous feature."

"He had his foot on her to keep her on the floor and eventually let her go," he said.

The court heard Stovgaard then told the victim he was going to get some heroin and the victim tried to persuade him not to go.

Upon returning, Stovgaard pushed the victim to the floor again and grabbed her throat with both hands, squeezing until she blacked out again.

The court heard the victim then vomited on the floor and after trying to stand up, fell back down again to which Stovgaard again laughed.

"She begged for pain relief, he refused and instead took some valium tablets himself," Mr Cook said.

"He said to her 'you're not getting anything, you're going to suffer'."

Mr Cook said the victim tried to call police but Stovgaard grabbed her phone and smashed it.

The court heard the victim attended the Sunshine Coast University Hospital the next day and was released into the care of Stovgaard's mother.

"Later that night, the defendant attended his mother's house where the complainant was and grabbed her by the shirt and threw her to the ground," Mr Cook said.

"His mother intervened and the police were notified.

"Ultimately the defendant was intercepted for drink driving."

The court heard after he was released by police, Stovgaard went back to his mother's house and said 'who called the cops? who am I going to kill first?' before punching the door.

"This is a serious example of domestic violence," Mr Cook said.

"It involves persistent offending over a 24-hour period.

"He was undeterred even by the intervention of police."

Mooloolaba fitness instructor Torben Hugh Stovgaard pleaded guilty in Maroochydore District Court to unlawful choking and other charges.
Mooloolaba fitness instructor Torben Hugh Stovgaard pleaded guilty in Maroochydore District Court to unlawful choking and other charges.

Mr Cook said it was evident alcohol abuse played a significant part in Stovgaard's life.

"There's no doubt this was a terrifying ordeal which she (the victim) endured at the hands of her husband," he said.

The court heard Stovgaard had been in custody for 386 days.

Barrister Scott Lynch told the court once Stovgaard was released he would live with his mother and grandmother, where he wouldn't have access to alcohol.

"He undertook a Certificate III and IV in personal training and has worked in that field, although it may well be that he has difficulty returning to that now," he said.

Mr Lynch said Stovgaard turned to alcohol at the age of 17 and then started using drugs.

"When he was initially remanded in custody he presented as sobbing often, his mother says she has noticed some improvement since he has been in custody all that time" he said.

"She intends to keep a very close watch on him upon his release."

Judge Anthony Rafter said it was evident Stovgaard had an alcohol problem.

"Both offences involved very significant violence towards the complainant," he said.

Mr Rafter said he took into account Stovgaard appeared to be remorseful and that he had the support of his mother.

He sentenced Stovgaard to three years in jail, with an immediate parole release date.

QUEENSLAND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES

DVConnect Womensline: 1800 811 811

DVConnect Mensline: 1800 600 636

1800 RESPECT national hotline: 1800 656 463



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