COURT: A Childers man has been sentenced to 15 months probation after he emotionally abused his partner of four years.
COURT: A Childers man has been sentenced to 15 months probation after he emotionally abused his partner of four years. Brian Cassidy

Man screws down windows, installs CCTV over cheating fears

A 22-YEAR-OLD Childers resident high on meth and marijuana became so paranoid his girlfriend was cheating on him he installed CCTV cameras in their home and screwed the windows shut.

The former Gladstone man pleaded guilty to one count of contravening a domestic violence order in Bundaberg Magistrates Court on Friday.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Tina Bland said the man and his partner of four years had been using drugs for just under a month when things reached an all-time low.

Over the four-week period, the father of two formed the conclusion his partner was cheating on him and began making hostile accusations.

Constable Bland said he called the woman "a piece of s---" and that his "paranoid and delusional accusations" only got worse from August 1 to August 22.

"He formed the conclusion that hostile intruders were entering the dwelling, interfering with locks and having sex with the aggrieved (his partner)," Constable Bland told Magistrate Belinda Merrin.

"This prompted the defendant to screw the windows of the children's bedrooms shut. He also set up CCTVs inside and outside to watch for intruders and monitor the aggrieved's behaviour."

The court heard the man then began accusing the mother of his children of unlocking the doors to let men inside the home and deleting bits of the CCTV footage behind his back.

He also accused her of having sex with people while he was sleeping in the same bed as her.

This protracted emotional abuse eventually led to August 22, when it was reported to officers.

The man called Childers police and told them his partner had punched him before walking down the street.

"The respondent said to the aggrieved you piece of s---, you are cheating, the aggrieved lost her temper and as a result of the ongoing accusations, punched the defendant and threw a shoe at him, which missed and hit their child," Constable Bland said.

Twenty minutes later the woman was invited to give her version of events to police at the Childers station, where she "broke down and said she didn't care what happened to her and didn't care if he killed her".

"The aggrieved stated (in a police interview) the accusations made her feel like s---," Constable Bland told the court.

During the two-hour interview, the woman's boyfriend arrived at the station with one of their children in his arms.

He was demanding to speak to his partner so he could find out why she was cheating on him, with who and where the person could be found.

Constable Bland said police watched on as he told his young child: "Your mummy is a whore".

He later told police he knew his partner was cheating on him because the "sex wasn't the same and that she didn't want it" and that the only way they could have "decent sex was when they were both using ice".

The court heard the pair had been arguing profusely over the past month and that the woman had been self-harming.

"He said he'd screwed down every window," Constable Bland said.

The man's defence lawyer, Matt Maloy, said his client had treated his drug problem up until one month ago, when he stopped because he didn't think he'd start using again.

"He accepts there was some degree of paranoia in relation to his concerns about his partner having an affair," he said.

Mr Maloy said while his client was the one who installed the CCTVs and screwed down the windows, it was his partner who'd bought the items in the first place.

"It was a matter that they had some issues with their landlord who was attending their property when they weren't there and they made the joint decision," Mr Maloy said.

He argued while the offending had to be taken seriously, as all domestic violence incidents did, the incident boiled down to "name-calling" and paranoia.

Magistrate Belinda Merrin strongly opposed his line of thinking.

"This is protracted ... he's using drugs and he's subjecting her to intimidation, emotional abuse, there's the name calling..."

But Mr Maloy said: "She doesn't see it that way, Your Honour", which concerned Ms Merrin even more.

"Neither party seems to have some insight into what's happened over the last three to four weeks."

The man's four-month suspended sentence, which was imposed in October last year, was activated. He was released on immediate parole.

Ms Merrin sentenced him to 15 months' probation.



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