'DEGRADING BEHAVIOUR': Mathew Benecke, 34, will spend three months behind bars until he's eligible for parole.
'DEGRADING BEHAVIOUR': Mathew Benecke, 34, will spend three months behind bars until he's eligible for parole. Zach Hogg BUN110814CRT3

More jail time for dad over 'degrading' assault of partner

A DAD who smacked his partner in the mouth, threw a tin of milk at her then tipped coconut over her while telling her to go bake a cake will spend more time in jail.

His bad behaviour was apparently brought on when their child opened a 5th birthday present early.

Bundaberg Magistrates Court was told that when police were called to the woman's home a distressed child ran out telling officers: "Daddy has been hitting mummy”.

Appearing via videolink from jail, Mathew Benecke, 34, pleaded guilty to two counts of contravening a domestic violence order; and obstructing a police officer on May 30.

Prosecutor Sergeant Dean Burgess said the woman's father phoned police about a disturbance on May 20. Then on May 29 her father again phoned, saying his daughter was being assaulted.

The child had met the officers and the mother was found in hysterics. She had a swollen and bleeding lip.

The woman told officers her husband had been invited to attend their son's birthday but became aggressive, then picked up the tin of milk and threw it, and poured coconut over her, and told her to make a cake. Her head had been pushed into a bed frame.

Benecke ran from the house when police arrived and officers lost sight of him.

The next day he was found hiding at the woman's house and police say he threatened to burn down her parents' house.

Sgt Burgess said the man was found hiding beneath a bed. Told to stay on his stomach, Benecke continued to thrash about but became compliant when he was hit.

He said it was a violent breach of a domestic violence protection order that caused the woman injury.

Benecke also had a knife and the offence required a head sentence of nine to 12 months' jail, Sgt Burgess said.

Defence lawyer Lavonda Maloy said Benecke began using marijuana at the age of 14 and used ice from the age of 30. The couple had been together 10 years.

He had lost his job and income following a workplace injury.

Mrs Maloy said he became upset after his son opened birthday presents when he was not there.

"He is a very remorseful man. He accepts he has a significant road ahead to rebuild the relationship with his partner,” Mrs Maloy said.

She said Benecke had a very sobering experience while in jail in which his left eye socket had been shattered and three plates inserted in his jaw after being assaulted.

"I was assaulted by five blokes,” Benecke told the court.

"I had my head kicked in and taken to hospital in Brisbane. Three plates were put in my jaw ... had a fractured eye socket.”

Magistrate Belinda Merrin referred to the agreed facts, saying Benecke had been yelling then slapped the woman to stop her screaming because he was concerned police would be called.

He also briefly had a knife although the court heard that he had not been brandishing it.

Ms Merrin said he had completely overreacted to the child opening the presents early, and it had been an extraordinary reaction to slap someone to stop police being called.

Ms Merrin said he threw the tinned milk and coconut at her, and told her to make cake which was "degrading behaviour,” and slapped her in the mouth, causing injury, and picked up a knife.

"Domestic violence unfortunately is a significant problem in the community,” she said.

"Your child ran out to police saying 'daddy is hitting mummy', a memory they will carry.”

Benecke was sentenced to four months' jail for the first contravention offence and nine months' jail for the second, with one month jail for obstructing a police officer - all to be served concurrenly.

He must serve three months and will be released on parole then must complete 18 months of supervised probation after pleading guilty to other unrelated offences.



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