Griffith woman's heartache over attacker's slap on the wrist

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN GRIFFITH: In 2016 the Griffith local government area was ranked sixth in recorded rates of assault, domestic violence related with a rate of 931.3 per 100,000 population.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN GRIFFITH: In 2016 the Griffith local government area was ranked sixth in recorded rates of assault, domestic violence related with a rate of 931.3 per 100,000 population.

The Griffith victim of a vicious 2016 assault has come forward, describing her devastating ordeal and her dismay at the ‘slap on the wrist’ given to her attacker.

The man, who was originally found guilty in Wagga Local Court in February of assaulting the woman and her two-year-old child, received a 13-month suspended sentence for his actions.

During his sentencing, the court heard his actions had included throwing a book at the two-year old, leaving lacerations and bruising, before he turned on the mother.

The woman slammed the justice system for the punishment, saying it didn’t match what she went through during the attack and in court.

“I don’t really care about what he did to me, but for my son I had to fight for justice and it was so hard,” the woman said.

“Having to go to court with him sitting in the stand smirking at me the whole time was just the hardest time of my life.

“It is sickening to think I had to fight for a long time to get justice for my child and now I have done that and the justice system has failed us.”

In the aftermath of the assault and the gruelling court process following, the woman said she has been left struggling emotionally – seeing a counsellor once a fortnight.

“I have had to move eight hours away,” the woman said.

“I had to leave my home and my friends and my family because I couldn’t risk walking down the street and having my children see him. He assaulted my two-year old when my four-year old was there; he saw it happen.

“They are three and five at the moment and we’re all not doing very well.”

Despite the obvious havoc the whole ordeal has wreaked on her family’s life, the woman said what is equally upsetting is seeing her attacker welcomed back into the folds of the community, with most unaware of what he had done to them.

“People say they are putting their foot down when it comes to domestic violence, but I just feel like he got a slap on the wrist,” she said.

“He is representing Griffith in football. I think a lot of people don’t know what kind of a person he is.

“If the community say they don’t accept it, then why are they accepting it?”

The Area News understands the charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on the two-year old has since been appealed by the man and dismissed in Griffith District Court on May 4 due to evidence problems.

However the man’s appeal to have his charge of common assault against the mother was later withdrawn in the District Court.

He was ordered to pay $1000 and sentenced to seven months in prison.

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