Man behind bars after choking partner over cigarettes

A HERVEY Bay man, who threatened to kill the woman he was supposed to love, will remain behind bars.

William Wyatt Ratcliffe, 39, choked his partner, pinning her against a wall and warning "if you call the cops, I'll grab a knife from the kitchen and stab you in the stomach."

He pleaded guilty to related offences in Hervey Bay District Court yesterday and was labelled a "coward" by Judge Greg Koppenol.

The court heard Ratcliffe and his then partner were arguing over cigarettes and a washing machine before he attacked her in their Torquay home in January.

Crown Prosecutor Matt Le Grand told the court the victim was "gasping for air" as Ratcliffe repeated "are you gonna call the cops?"

"She's not sure how long she was held there, but said it felt like a minute," Mr Le Grand said

After letting go, Ratcliffe worked to keep the woman away from a phone by covering her mouth and nose, and making the threats to stab her.

The pair separated after this incident but continued living together, which Judge Koppenol said must have been "terrifying" for the woman.

One day in February, Ratcliffe was feeling paranoid about the woman's activity and let out his frustration by verbally abusing her, and then head butting her.

Following that attack, Ratcliffe once again worked to keep a phone away from her. She was forced to write a note to another person in the house calling for help.

"You need to know how to let go and move on," Judge Koppenol said

"You acted appallingly towards your female partner.

"Violence towards a woman is never justified."

Ratcliffe was sentenced to two years in jail.

He will be eligible for parole on October 16.



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