Assault accused remanded

A man has been remanded in custody after allegedly violently beating his partner with a hockey stick during an assault at a Newborough unit lasting more than 30 hours.

The man, 39, was denied bail in the Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court on Monday after being arrested on Friday night.

He was charged with five counts of intentionally causing serious and reckless injury, and assault.

The victim, who cannot be named, was found at the property with significant bruising, facial injuries and multiple fractures.

The pair had been in a relationship for about 18 months after befriending each other on Facebook, the court was told.

In court, police alleged the victim had been “held at the property” for about two months, unable to leave the house over fears the man would hurt her if she did.

The court heard she suffered two fractures to her pelvis and two to the ribs, a fractured left arm and clavicle, a skull and nasal bone fracture, and fractures to her right thumb and fingers in the alleged Australia Day assault.

She also had abnormal blood pathology results following the extensive beating and injuries consistent with being confined to the floor for an extended period of time.

The victim was admitted to Latrobe Regional Hospital but later taken to The Alfred hospital in Melbourne for surgery, where she remains in a stable condition.

Police were called to the Newborough property about 5.45pm on Australia Day after the victim’s mother received a text message saying the accused had gone into “bash mode”.

Latrobe Crime Investigation Unit Detective Senior Constable Gerard Wursthorn told the court the accused and the victim would take part in a “game” where if the victim lied, the accused would punish her with “slaps and knuckles”, and a hockey stick – used for “convenience” – “so he didn’t have to get up [off his chair] to assault”.

Senior Detective Wursthorn told the court the accused told police during an interview: “I don’t want to be f—-d with in my own home. I’ll make them regret it”.

He told the court the accused did not deny the allegations during the interview.

“He [the accused] also used examples that she antagonised him because she did the ‘silent treatment’” Senior Detective Wursthorn said.

The court heard if the couple was playing a two-player video game and the accused lost, he would make comments to the victim such as “do I need to go and get the stick”.

The accused also admitted to injecting methylamphetamine, known as ice, in the lead-up to his arrest and told detectives he had consumed two bottles of straight alcoholic spirits on Thursday and Friday.

When the accused, who was represented by Legal Aid, was asked if he would like to respond to the police statement, he said: “I felt like I was trying to be run out of my own home.”

“I guess I went a little crazy but I’m not generally a threat, a violent person or a threat,” he said.

“I’m generally a nice, natural, level-headed person unless [I am] antagonised.

“I didn’t want her to leave but I didn’t want her to keep harassing me at that stage.”

Magistrate Andrew McKenna described the victim’s injuries as “extremely serious” and said “the application for bail must be refused”.

The matter will return to court on May 3.