A FORMER Terang man who kicked his wife as she knelt on the ground looking for a book has been jailed.
Daryl James Norris, 36, of Laverock Road, Warrnambool, appeared in the Warrnambool County Court yesterday to appeal a one-month jail sentence and a further sentence of two months’ imprisonment suspended for two years.
But Judge James Montgomery convicted and sentenced him to three months in jail, saying he was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the charge of recklessly causing injury was proven and Norris’s behaviour had been cowardly and callous.
He said Norris’s wife had significant health issues when he lashed out at her and left her bleeding.
Judge Montgomery said Norris had a prior conviction for assaulting the same woman.
“I’ve said it before in these sittings, men have simply got to stop hitting women,” he said.
Norris’s wife told the court, via remote witness facility, that on April 15, 2012 her husband had asked her to look for one of his books. She said while she was on the ground she felt something hit her face and her nose started to bleed. She was not sure if she had been kicked or hit.
The woman told the court there had been incidents of violence in their four-year relationship, including once when Norris was driving to Warrnambool and asked her to steer the van.
She said Norris punched her in the face because he was not happy with her driving.
The court heard the woman had a history of type one diabetes and epilepsy and defence counsel Robert Thyssen asked her if the injury could have been the result of a seizure.
The woman said she did not have a seizure and if she had she would not have felt something hit her face.
In evidence given by the woman’s GP, the court heard that her injury was consistent with the assault she’d described.
The GP said that after a seizure the woman would be quite drowsy and he would have been called by a nurse straight away if it had been that sort of scenario.
He said something sharp would have been needed to cause the laceration on her nose.
When giving evidence, Norris said that at the time of the incident their relationship had been falling apart.
He said on the day of the assault he last saw his wife when she was out looking for their dogs. He denied all allegations of violence in their relationship.
Under cross-examination by Crown prosecutor Justin Lewis, Norris said he couldn’t remember an allegation of assault towards the same woman to which he had pleaded guilty in April 2010.
He said he couldn’t recall doing it and asked “why would I throw a sauce bottle at someone I love?”, to which Mr Lewis replied only Norris could know the answer to that.
Mr Lewis said that on April 15, 2012 Norris struck the woman and then told her to find the dogs.
Norris replied that if his wife did have “blood on her face he would have administered some sort of first aid”.
Judge Montgomery said he rejected Norris’s account based on a number of factors, including the medical evidence, which did not support the woman having a seizure.
The court heard that Norris, who was born in England, would be deported by the Department of Immigration once he had served his sentence.